80 per cent of school children returned to school in Ebola-affected areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

12 October 2018
On 12 September 2018 in Beni, a group of school children in the Democratic Republic of Congo learn how to protect themselves against Ebola, after a recent outbreak that has hit their town particularly hard.
UNICEF/UN0235949/Nybo
On 12 September 2018 in Beni, a group of school children in the Democratic Republic of Congo learn how to protect themselves against Ebola, after a recent outbreak that has hit their town particularly hard.

KINSHASA/DAKAR/NEW YORK/GENEVA, 12 October 2018 – One month after the beginning of the school year, 80 per cent of school-aged children have returned to school in Beni and Mabalako health zones, the two epicentres of the current Ebola outbreak in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). More than half of these children are girls.

“All children, including those living in Ebola-affected areas of the eastern DRC, have the right to education,” said Dr. Gianfranco Rotigliano, UNICEF Representative in the DRC. “That’s why our Ebola-response aims to ensure that schools in affected areas are offering a protective environment for children to continue their education, while teachers also teach children how to protect themselves from Ebola.”

UNICEF has identified more than 1,500 schools in the areas affected by the latest Ebola epidemic. Among these, 365 schools located in the epicentres of the outbreak are deemed to be high risk.

“When children in school learn about how to prevent Ebola transmission, they are also helping to avoid further spread of the disease in the community,” said Dr. Rotigliano. “These children are promoting regular hand washing with their families at home.”

To date, UNICEF and its partners have:

  • Equipped all 365 targeted schools in the high risk zones with hygiene and health equipment;
  • Trained more than 3,500 teachers and school principals on preventive measures on Ebola to guarantee schools are protective environments for children;
  • Reached 69,338 school children with Ebola prevention messages;
  • Provided assistance to 129 orphaned and unaccompanied school-aged children to return to school.

As some children in the affected areas are still not in school, UNICEF and its partners continue to sensitize and encourage parents to register their children and ensure that their right to education is fulfilled.

Media Contacts

Yves Willemot

Chief of Communication

UNICEF DRC

Tel: +243 81 88 46 746

Thierry Delvigne-Jean

Regional Chief of Communication

UNICEF West and Central Africa

Tel: +221 77 819 23 00

Tel: +221 33 831 08 62

Christopher Tidey

Communication Specialist

UNICEF New York

Tel: +1 917 340 3017

Patsy Nakell

Chief of Communication

UNICEF Africa Services Unit

Tel: +27 79 495 5938

Christophe Boulierac

Communication Specialist

UNICEF Geneva

Tel: +41 79 963 92 44

Multimedia content

On 24 July 2018 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, after raising awareness on how to prevent the spread of Ebola, UNICEF Communication for Development Officer Telly Dibindukidi distributes posters and pamphlets so that community leaders in Mangina, North Kivu, can educate their own communities.
On 24 July 2018 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, after raising awareness on how to prevent the spread of Ebola, UNICEF Communication for Development Officer Telly Dibindukidi distributes posters and pamphlets so that community leaders in Mangina, North Kivu, can educate their own communities.

Photo and video material is available

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For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.

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