On 2 July 2015 heavy rains did not stop the team from working to construct UNICEF tents as part of the Ebola response in Liberia in Unification Town, Margibi County, Liberia.

In Margibi County, where the body of a child tested positive for the virus on 29 June, UNICEF social mobilization teams are on the ground conducting door-to-door awareness campaigns on Ebola prevention, to minimize the risk of further infections and to protect and assist those affected. Responding to Liberia’s first confirmed cases of Ebola in more than three months, UNICEF has begun distributing emergency supplies in the affected communities including tents for isolating those under quarantine, hygiene kits and chlorine and buckets for handwashing stations.

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

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CONAKRY/MONROVIA/FREETOWN/DAKAR/HONG KONG, 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.

A child receives a measles vaccination at the Madina Health Centre in Guéckédou, Guinea, 23 April 2015.

For the first time since the start of the Ebola outbreak, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are conducting major nationwide immunization campaigns to protect millions of children against preventable but potentially deadly diseases. As World Immunization Week is marked from April 24 to 30, the three countries most affected by Ebola aim to vaccinate more than three million children against diseases such as measles and polio in UNICEF-supported campaigns that involve the provision of vaccines and the training and deployment of thousands of immunization teams. As the immunization campaigns are taking place while the threat of Ebola remains, vaccinators are following strict protocols including the use of protective wear, such as gloves and aprons, as well as regular handwashing. More than 26,000 cases of Ebola and 10,000 deaths have been reported across the three countries where the outbreak has weakened already fragile health systems while disrupting routine health interventions.

UNICEF welcomes declaration of the end of Ebola outbreak in Guinea

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CONAKRY/ HONG KONG, December 29, 2015 – Almost two years to the day when a toddler became the first victim of Ebola in West Africa, UNICEF welcomed the declaration that the outbreak has ended in Guinea, but cautioned that the thousands of children orphaned by the disease, as well as those who survived infection, will need continued support.

“While we mark this occasion, we must all remember that children were greatly impacted by Ebola. They were more likely to die if infected. Over 22,000 children lost one or both parents in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. They are traumatized and continue to be stigmatized in their neighbourhoods. For thousands of girls and boys, the outbreak does not end today. It will be with them throughout their lives. Let us commit to be with them too,” said Dr. Mohamed Ag Ayoya, UNICEF’s Representative in Guinea.

On 14 April, a girl washes her hands with water from a covered bucket with a tap before entering a classroom, at St. Joseph’s Secondary School in Freetown, the capital. Hand-washing is part of the strict safety protocols being implemented in all schools across the country, to minimize the risk of Ebola virus disease (EVD) transmission at school. The UNICEF logo is on the bucket.

In March/April 2015 in Sierra Leone, as schools across the country prepare to reopen after an eight month closure due to the Ebola virus disease (EVD) crisis, the Government, UNICEF and partners are working to ensure that children remain safe by reducing as much as possible the risk EVD transmission. Schools – which had remained closed across the country after the July-August break – are scheduled to reopen on 14 April, with some 1.8 million students expected to resume their studies. To support students’ return, UNICEF has facilitated the training of 9,000 teachers to implement safety protocols to minimize the risk of transmission at schools, including taking children’s temperatures when they arrive at school and making them wash their hands before entering the classroom. UNICEF is also supporting the distribution of hygiene materials and cleaning equipment to prepare school buildings and to reduce the chance of infections; and is providing 24,300 hand-washing stations (about three per school), as well as 1.8 million school kits and psychosocial support for students. UNICEF is also supporting social mobilization activities to raise awareness, and daily government emergency radio education programmes to allow children to continue learning at home during the Ebola crisis, and has distributed some 17,000 solar radios to children in rural communities.

UNICEF welcomes end of Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, calls for more support to 11,500+ affected children

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FREETOWN, Sierra Leone/ HONG KONG, 7 November 2015 – The WHO declaration marking the end of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone today is welcomed by UNICEF as a major victory for the large-scale and coordinated 18-month response. But enhanced surveillance must continue so that the country is ready for any possible future outbreaks, and work must also intensify to support those affected by the outbreak and to build a resilient recovery.

“This unprecedented health crisis has had a deep and tragic impact on children, whether through direct infection and death, or the impact of quarantine measures, school closures and the economic downturn,” said the UNICEF Representative in Sierra Leone, Geoff Wiffin.

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Providing care and protection, in Ebola times and beyond

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KANIA, Sierra Leone/ HONG KONG, 19 October 2015 – After two days suffering severe headaches, Mamadu Sesay thought he might have contracted the Ebola virus.

Fearing the worst, Mamudu made his way to the Kania Community Care Centre (CCC) in Sierra Leone’s Kambia District, operated by the District Health Management Team, with support from UNICEF and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

“I walked here by myself, because I felt really bad,” says Mamadu. “I was afraid I might have Ebola.”

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Ebola Outbreak Report 3

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Situation Overview -The Ebola outbreak continues to wreak havoc in Africa. According WHO data as of 14 October, 2014, the total number of confirmed, probable and suspected cases rose to 9,216, with 4,555 deaths. Three most affected countries are Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. -Around 9,000 people infected across the West Africa and at least […]

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Ebola Outbreak Report 2

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Situation Overview -The current Ebola outbreak is the deadliest ever. It is spreading fast with over 40 per cent of the total number of cases seen within the past few weeks. As of 3 September, the countries affected by the current outbreak of Ebola, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sierra Leone, have reported about 3,500 […]

On 17 June 2014 in Iraq, (foreground) UNICEF Senior Supply/Logistics Assistant Kasim Muhamad supervises the loading of UNICEF emergency supplies onto an aeroplane at the airport in the northern-eastern city of Erbil in Kurdistan Region. The supplies, which include tents, blankets, hygiene and recreation kits, and education materials, are part of a shipment of 33 metric tons of emergency relief items earmarked for children and families displaced by violence and fighting that first erupted in the city of Mosul on 5 June. Up to 1 million people are currently estimated displaced, including about 500,000 Mosul residents – up to half of whom are children. UNICEF and partners are working to meet the rapidly rising needs of those affected by the worsening crisis. Immediate priorities include safe drinking water and adequate sanitation, as well as critical emergency immunization to prevent the spread of diseases such as polio, which has re-emerged in Iraq this year, and measles.

UNICEF deploys its largest emergency supply operation ever in a single month Record amount of emergency aid delivered to children caught in record number of crise

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COPENHAGEN/ GENEVA/ NEW YORK/ HONG KONG, 26 August 2014 – This August UNICEF shipped 1,000 metric tonnes of life-saving supplies for children caught in the world’s most urgent crises — the largest emergency supply operation in the organization’s history in a single month. The amount delivered would fill 19 cargo jumbo jets. © UNICEF/NYHQ2014-0745/Mendes “UNICEF’s […]

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Ebola Outbreak Report 1

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Situation Overview -The scale of the ongoing outbreak is unprecedented, with approximately 1,603 confirmed and suspected cases reported, and 887 deaths in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria since March 2014. -It is the largest in terms of geographical areas already affected and others at immediate risk of further spread. -It is taking place in […]

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In Guinea, radio helps school children catch up on learning

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By Lianne Gutcher Kept out of school by the Ebola epidemic, children in Guinea are making up for lost time through a series of lessons broadcast on radio. FORÉCARIAH, Guinea / HONG KONG, 10 July 2015 – One of the hidden impacts of the Ebola outbreak in Guinea is that children have missed out on […]