BBC World Service Launches Ebola Radio Network for West Africa


The BBC World Service is launching special Ebola broadcasts for West Africa starting on Monday 22nd September. Each evening shortwave transmissions to the region will be increased. There will be a round-up of News concentrating on efforts to combat the virus particularly to the three worst affected countries: Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

News About West Africa will be a 9-minute daily programme (Monday to Friday) broadcast live at 19:50 GMT around the world and presented by BBC Africa’s Kim Chakanetsa. Through local stories, correspondents and interviews, the broadcast will include the latest information about local, regional and international effort to contain and combat the disease. There is a great deal of new information emerging about how best to respond to Ebola and the programme aims to share that with an African and global audience.

BBC Africa in conjuncti with the BBC’s international development charity, Media Action, has since August been broadcasting two weekly Ebola bulletins on the BBC’s English, French and Hausa services.

 BBC Media Action has also been helping to tackle dangerous misinformation about the disease in a new radio programme. Kick Ebola Nar Salone (Kick Ebola out of Sierra Leone), is a 30-minute show produced weekly and broadcast three times a week on 35 partner stations across the country.

Peter Horrocks, Director, BBC World Service Group says: "Lack of knowledge and myths about the disease are killing people as surely as Ebola is. Quality information from both within and outside the countries affected about how the risks of Ebola can be safely managed will save lives. The range of emergency activities on Ebola from the BBC World Service are in the finest traditions of the humanitarian instincts of our broadcasting.”

 This week’s programming includes:

Assignment (Thursday 25th September) will hear from a wide variety of people living through the three-day lock-down in Sierra Leone as the authorities hope to restrict the spread of the disease.

A special edition of BBC Africa Debate (Friday 26th September) from Ghana will look at the state of Africa’s health systems in the light of the Ebola outbreak. The debate will be hosted by BBC Africa’s Akwasi Sarpong, and broadcaster and health practitioner, Dr Graham Easton.

 Over the weekend, Mike Williams asked why people risk their lives for strangers as they talk to health workers who return to the packed West African hospitals to help those with the disease in The Why Factor.

Source: BBC 24 September 2014