In response to the news that a 17-month-old boy died at the weekend - the third confirmed case of Ebola in South Kivu province; as well as the confirmation of a new case in the remote, militia-controlled town of Walikale, UNICEF Representative Edouard Beigbeder said:
“The sad news that yet another young child has died - the third confirmed case of Ebola in South Kivu - is a reminder of the unique vulnerability that children have to this disease. This young boy was just 17-months-old.
More than 500 children are already known to have died during this outbreak, out of almost 750 who have been infected.
The recent breakthrough of two successful treatments is a hugely positive step in the battle against Ebola, but the reality is that unless those showing symptoms report to a treatment centre immediately, we will continue to see cases and deaths. That is why our ongoing work around community awareness and engagement is so vital to the response.
Violence and instability, in areas such as Walikale, are additional challenges in reaching affected communities. It is crucial that all parties to the violence ensure that responders can do their work safely and that those seeking care can access it without fear of attacks."
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.