UNICEF provides 60 m³ of materials to the DRC government in response to the Ebola epidemic in Equateur Province
KINSHASA, 7 June 2020 - UNICEF Representative in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Edouard Beigbeder handed over 60 m³ of equipment and 76,000 locally produced masks and other supplies to the Minister of Health, Eteni Longondo on 7 June 2020 in Mbandaka to help contain the spread of Ebola and COVID-19 in Equateur Province, in the presence of Dr. Amédée Prosper Djiguimdé, Head of the World Health Organization in DRC.
This first batch of equipment consists mainly of water, hygiene and sanitation supplies, including chlorine sprays, water purifiers, jerry cans, hand washing kits, boxes of soap, gloves, masks, laser thermometers and personal protective equipment.
UNICEF will coordinate its response from its office in Mbandaka. Based on its experience in responding to previous epidemics, UNICEF will focus on community engagement to protect people from the disease, on water, hygiene and sanitation activities to prevent the spread of the disease, and on psychosocial support and community mobilization to support children and families affected by the disease.
UNICEF deployed 36 staff in Mbandaka to work with government partners, communities, psychologists and psychosocial workers, and non-governmental organizations.
"UNICEF is mobilized alongside the Government in an effort to quickly contain this new epidemic. We have mobilized our teams and equipment to contain and limit the impact of the disease, especially among children," said UNICEF Representative in DRC Edouard Beigbeder.
To date, the province has 09 positive cases, including 1 from the Bikoro Health Zone, and 7 deaths, including 4 confirmed and 3 probable. This is the eleventh Ebola epidemic facing the country. It comes at a time when the DRC is nearing the end of the current epidemic in the east. During this epidemic, 3,812 health centres in the affected health zones were provided with essential water, hygiene and sanitation services, 16,126 children received psychosocial support in transit centres and Ebola Treatment Centres (ETCs), more than 37 million people were reached with community surveillance and promotion of essential prevention practices.
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.