WiRED International Receives Grant to Expand Ebola Education Program


The only way this [Ebola preparedness] occurs is by education of the masses, from school children to retirees, housewives to farmers, bank employees to tourism workers and yes, even the politicians.
—Brendan Lee, author

Ebola has all but vanished from the news—but not from West Africa. In fact, a situation report from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows a recent uptick in the number of Ebola cases. Now is the time to prepare communities and to establish systems that can be activated if the virus should spread.


To this end Medtronic Philanthropy has awarded a grant to WiRED International to address community preparedness on Ebola. WiRED will produce a package of integrated elements that create and distribute our educational programs on Ebola and assist communities to use them in the global struggle against the disease.


WiRED has received grants from Medtronic Philanthropy in the past. Medtronic Philanthropy devotes its energies to helping underserved communities worldwide expand access to quality chronic disease care, address unmet health needs, strengthen health systems and make current products and therapies more available.


This funding will enable WiRED to create 12 new health education modules (making a total of 16) on Ebola and work directly with 15 medical schools in Central and East Africa. The new modules will engage audiences that include emergency medical services staff, healthcare coalitions, to airline crews, police and military personnel, and the media. As with all WiRED materials, the Ebola modules will be written and peer reviewed by medical professionals and based solidly on WHO and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. The complete Ebola series, like all WiRED modules, will be cost-free to users.


Creating a comprehensive suite of Ebola training modules is a critical step in providing underserved populations with relevant training material. It is evident that patients and people in remote areas face a lack of information on Ebola as do their medical professionals.


One essential strategy to improve health outcomes in regions of scarcity involves cultivating a relationship that values the patient as a partner in his or her own health care and provides patients with education and training. Thus, the new paradigm of health care strongly emphasizes collaboration and teamwork between medical professionals, healthcare workers and patients. Inherent in the creation of these robust partnerships is the availability of accurate information and reliable training programs for all concerned.


Getting that material into the hands of people who can use it is equally important. People anywhere can share WiRED programs on thumb drives and CD ROMs, send them via email and Dropbox and generally distribute them through informal networks. Also, our technicians have created a facility we call the “Filling Station.” Through this synchronizing tool, anyone can download our entire e-library of 300+ topics or select the Ebola training programs individually.


No other sources currently provide computer-based, expertly written, peer-reviewed Ebola training modules. The deck is heavily stacked against the people and their health professionals in low-income countries. It takes only one case to light the fuse of Ebola, so we have to prepare now. The grant from Medtronic Philanthropy will enable WiRED to complete our ambitious Ebola education program and further our goal to end the global inequality of health knowledge.


The following modules are currently available, and new modules created in this project will be added during the next year.