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Facebook takes steps to fight Ebola

The company is helping out with health education and emergency voice and data services, and giving its users an easy way to make donations.

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What mobile Facebook users can expect to see in the coming days for the fight against Ebola. Facebook

Facebook has launched three initiatives designed to take the fight to Ebola.

In the coming days, Facebook users will see a pop-up at the top of their news feeds offering them the opportunity to donate to three funds -- International Medical Corps, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and Save the Children -- that are working to get Ebola under control, the world's largest social network announced Thursday.

In addition, the company says that it is partnering with Unicef to educate Facebook users who live in areas hit hard by Ebola about symptoms and treatment of the devastating, oft-fatal disease. Facebook has also donated 100 mobile satellite communication terminals for use in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, the countries most seriously affected by the disease, to provide voice and data services to medical and aid workers. The data services will be offered in partnership with a consortium of 41 not-for-profits called NetHope.

Last month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan announced that they were donating $25 million to the fight against Ebola. Samsung and LG, meanwhile are donating hundreds of smartphones.

Overcoming Ebola will be no small task. An estimated 13,000 people have been diagnosed with Ebola, and more than 4,800 have died, according to the CDC Foundation. No vaccine yet exists, and health organizations are having an exceedingly difficult time keeping the disease in check in areas where healthcare needs are greatest. Those areas are also where Facebook is dedicating most of its resources.

"If not addressed, the Ebola epidemic could become a long-term global health crisis," the company's vice president of product management, Naomi Gleit, said in a statement Thursday. "Together with our partners, we're hopeful that by offering people the tools they need, we can all help fight this disease."

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment on the announcement.