Kicking out Ebola

In Sierra Leone, the country with the highest reported number of Ebola cases during the 2014-16 crisis, we helped challenge Ebola-related stigma and shared life-saving information with large numbers of people, by means of: 

  • A weekly radio discussion programme Kick Ebola Nar Salone (Kick Ebola out of Sierra Leone) and radio drama Mr Plan-Plan. Mr Plan-Plan was also broadcast in Liberia
  • A special discussion and phone-in programmes during national “stay at home” initiatives during which volunteers searched door-to-door for Ebola cases
  • Hard-hitting, attention-grabbing public service announcements covering a range of topics including the dangers of attending burials
  • Adapting our long-running radio programmes Fo Rod (Crossroads) and Tok Bot Salone  (Talk About Sierra Leone) to help people ask the authorities about their response to the outbreak
  • Training and mentoring journalists and station managers from over 36 partner radio stations
  • Setting up a dedicated SoundCloud page and Twitter collection
  • Making expert media appearances

Powerful programmes

Our radio programmes showed the human face of Ebola. In one moving episode of Kick Ebola Nar Salone a nurse described how she had recovered from the virus and the steps she took to avoid infecting her child or other family members. "It couldn't have more vividly refuted [showing] the fear and denial that Ebola has provoked in people," said Musa Sangarie, programme manager, adding "we hope her story will inspire others to seek treatment early."

To talk about one’s own death is strictly taboo in Sierra Leone but our radio presenters did just that, live on-air, in order to encourage safe burials, "I pledge that if I die from Ebola, I forbid any of my relations to touch my body" said presenter Olabisi Olu-Garrick.

Radio producer Mustapha Dumbuya wrote movingly in his blog about the loss of 16 members of his family and how this inspired him to work even more tirelessly on programming to save lives.

Be prepared

We partnered with the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation to deliver "lifeline" communication training to media, officials and humanitarian workers in 10 countries at risk of Ebola across West Africa. This enabled them to respond rapidly should a health emergency arise by circulating accurate information and relevant programmes.

Project name Kick out Ebola

UNICEF, DFID, OSIWA, Paul G. Allen Family Foundation

We are also grateful for in-kind support from Western Union

Dates 2014-2016
Themes Resilience and humanitarian, health
Outputs Kick Ebola Nar Salone (Kick Ebola out of Sierra Leone) and public service announcements
Broadcast partners 40 local radio stations