Alle de tre Vest-Afrikanske landene hardest rammet av Ebola er nå Ebolafrie

For første gang er alle de tre Vest-Afrikanske landene Liberia, Guinea og Sierra Leone nå ebolafrie. En viktig milepæl! Da Guinea ble erklært ebolafri i desember så var Liberia inne i en ny nedtellingsperiode, etter at landet hadde noen nye tilfeller i november. I dag blir Liberia igjen erklært ebolafri. Dermed er det første gang at alle de tre landene er ebolafrie samtidige

Se pressemelding:
Thousands of children still need care and support in wake of Ebola epidemic

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CONAKRY/MONROVIA/FREETOWN/DAKAR, 14 January 2016 – Nearly 23,000 children who lost one or both parents or their primary caregivers to Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will continue to need care and support, UNICEF said as it welcomed the declaration that there are no more cases of the disease in West Africa.  

Today’s declaration that Liberia is free of Ebola transmissions, having completed a 42-day period without a case of the disease, follows Guinea’s declaration in December and Sierra Leone’s in November. The country now enters a three month period of heightened surveillance.

“To have contained this epidemic is an achievement, but we can’t forget the terrible toll Ebola has taken on these countries,” said Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa. “Many people continue to suffer, particularly those children whose lives have been left even more vulnerable by the virus.”  

The vast majority of the children whose parents or caregivers died of Ebola have been taken in by immediate or extended family or community members, and it is critical to continue supporting them beyond the emergency phase through cash grants, school support, clothing and food during the transition and to sustain new family care arrangements.

Of the 28,637 people infected by Ebola in the more than two years since the outbreak started, 4,767 were children. A total of 11,315 people lost their lives to the virus – 3,508 of them children, representing more than one in four deaths.

In addition, over 1,260 children who have survived the disease across the three countries are facing challenges that are both medical and social as many struggle to be accepted back into their communities.

“Ebola has been a terrifying experience for children,” said Fontaine. “We owe it to them and to all the people of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to continue to support them as they recover from the devastating effects this disease has had on their lives,” he added. 

UNICEF’s support to vulnerable children across the three countries aims to reinforce systems for child protection. This means ensuring that national authorities are able to provide a range of protection services including psychosocial support, family tracing and reunification, interim or alternative care, and state and community-based networks to prevent and respond to abuse and violence against children, who are more at risk.

In addition to child protection support, UNICEF will continue to support campaigns to maintain vigilance and awareness as well as rapid response teams that conduct active surveillance, social mobilization and early isolation and provide basic services, such as health, nutrition and water, hygiene and sanitation services.

UNICEF is appealing for $15 million to fund Ebola emergency interventions in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone for January-March 2016. This figure does not cover post-Ebola recovery work – only immediate needs.

For more information:

·         John James, UNICEF Sierra Leone, jjames@unicef.org, Tel: + 232 76 102 401

·         Rukshan Ratnam, UNICEF Liberia, rratnam@unicef.org; Tel: + (231) 770 257110

·         Timothy La Rose, UNICEF Guinea, tlarose@unicef.org; Tel: (+224) 622 350 251

·         Thierry Delvigne-Jean, UNICEF West and Central Africa, tdelvignejean@unicef.org; Tel: +221 33 869 5862

Helene har harbeidet som kommunikasjonsrådgiver i UNICEF Norge i 6 år

Gjennom jobben reiser hun en del i felt for å dokumentere UNICEFs arbeid. Helene arbeidet for UNICEF i Liberia, i forbindelse med Ebolaepidemien 2014/2015 og jobbet med krisekommunikasjon på regionkontoret til UNICEF i Vest- og Sentralafrika i 2016.

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