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To boost fight against Ebola and strengthen community-based services for the future, UNICEF raises appeal to US$500 million

© UNICEF/UNI171847/Aaen/Liberia, 2014
Household protection kits for children and families in areas highly affected by Ebola.

NEW YORK/GENEVA, 12 December 2014 – UNICEF today announced an expanded fight against the Ebola virus in West Africa over the next six months, costing a total of US$500 million – of which just 24 per cent ($125.7 million) has been secured.

The funds would enable the children’s organization to continue tackling the two major drivers of Ebola transmission – lack of early isolation of patients and unsafe burials – while seizing opportunities to strengthen primary health care and social support systems in one of the poorest regions in the world.

“UNICEF is accelerating its work in the heart of communities to stop the outbreak, support early isolation of cases, promote more safe burials and raise continued awareness and understanding of the virus and its risks,” said Dr. Peter Salama, UNICEF’s Global Ebola Coordinator. “But as we take the fight against Ebola into communities, we can also seize an opportunity to help build robust primary health care and other social services that will provide long-term benefits for children and families, after Ebola has been defeated.”

Funding through the appeal would be used to:

  • Promote life-saving behaviours including safe burial and early isolation practices through mass media campaigns, house to house campaigns and the training and deploying of around 60,000 community volunteers; 
  • Support up to 300 Community Care Centres (CCCs), transit centres, observation centres and rapid isolation facilities in rural areas;
  • Provide child  protection services for up to 10,000 children whose parents or caregivers have died from Ebola;
  • Maintain stocks of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other critical Ebola-related commodities such as those essential for infection prevention and control; and
  • Maintain or prepare to safely re-start basic health and education services.

“It is no coincidence that Ebola has emerged in three countries with fragile health systems,” Dr. Salama said. “Public health services in Ebola-affected countries could emerge much stronger if we make the right investments now, in the right places – above all at the doorstep of the communities where people most need those critical services.”

“By training more local volunteers, establishing more physical structures close to people’s homes, supporting community health workers and social workers, and capitalizing on the determination of many Ebola survivors to help provide care to those affected and at risk, we can both fight the disease today and start shaping better ways to deliver vaccination, treat malnutrition, improve antenatal care and increase safe deliveries for the future,” he said.

The Ebola response supported by UNICEF also impacts on other sectors beyond health. With schools closed, UNICEF is working with Ministries of Education and other partners to support continued learning by airing daily lessons on national and community radio stations, and through self-directed learning modules. Work is also ongoing to prepare for the eventual safe reopening of schools. Tens of thousands of teachers are being trained in psycho-social support techniques, Ebola prevention and safe and protective learning environments, again to strengthen community-based responses.

UNICEF is also supporting countries at risk of Ebola outbreaks to be fully prepared, through proactive awareness raising campaigns and, in advance of any outbreak, supporting protocols for surveillance and case detection and management.

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About UNICEF
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

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Download broadcast quality photos and b-roll from Ebola-affected countries: http://uni.cf/1xZAb39

For further information please contact:
Sarah Crowe, on mission to Geneva, scrowe@unicef.org, +1646 209 1590
Najwa Mekki, UNICEF New York, nmekki@unicef.org, +1917 209 1804
Laurent Duvillier, UNICEF Dakar, lduvillier@unicef.org, + 221 777 403 577

 


 

 

 

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