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Facebook aims to fight Ebola with new Donate feature

With the Ebola crisis continuing to rage, Facebook is rolling out three new schemes to help fight back against the disease (following in the footsteps of several other major tech firms, including Microsoft and IBM).

The first of these is a new Donate feature, which will make it easy to pledge money to the cause of fighting Ebola. Over the course of the next week, Facebook users will see a message at the top of their feed giving them the option to gift money to three non-profit organisations working in West Africa. These are the International Medical Corps, Red Cross and Save the Children. Folks will also be able to share their donation with friends, hopefully encouraging more people to give.

The second initiative, delivered in conjunction with UNICEF, is to bring attention to accurate health information regarding the spread of the virus. Facebook will detail facts concerning the detection of Ebola, and its prevention and treatment, in local languages.

Related: IBM joins fight against Ebola with mobile-based tracking system

And thirdly, Facebook is also working with NetHope to provide vital communication services to those aid workers in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, areas which are obviously seriously lacking in telecoms infrastructure. Specifically, the social network is donating 100 mobile satellite communication terminals for deployment in remote areas of these countries, providing voice comms and data services.

In a press statement, Facebook VP of Product Management Naomi Gleit and VP of Chris Daniels stated: "If not addressed, the Ebola epidemic could become a long-term global health crisis. Together with our partners, we're hopeful that by offering people the tools they need, we can all help fight this disease."

Related: Microsoft joins Ebola fight by pledging cloud resources and vaccine discovery service