-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 3,700 childrenhave lost one or both of their parents to Ebola, and many of them were rejected by their surviving relatives for fear of infection. As the death toll from Ebola continues to rise, the number of children orphaned by Ebola is likely to double by mid-October.
-Fear, misconceptions and rumours are fuelling the spread of the outbreak and complicating the humanitarian response.
While the immediate focus of UNICEF is to help contain and control the spread of the disease and address the immediate needs of communities, we are also working to maintain and restore basic social services. UNICEF is also supporting preparedness and prevention efforts.
1. Social Mobilization
-In Guinea, during the week of 8 October, UNICEF reached 85,415 households (575,374 people including 211,924 children) through door to door campaigns on Ebola prevention. 311 traditional healers and 70 religious leaders were trained on Ebola. UNICEF also initiated a SMS campaign with partners to reinforce handwahsing and the acceptance of reality of Ebola.
-In Sierra Leone, as the leading organisation for social mobilisation and awareness raising, UNICEF has reached nearly 80 per cent of households with these vital messages about the dangers of the disease, its symptoms, its methods of transmission, the importance of hygiene, and where to seek help.
-In Liberia, 65,400 people in the worst-hit counties were reached on Ebola prevention message though interpersonal communication within communities, at marketplaces and house-to-house campaigns. 50 radio stations broadcast Ebola prevention and protection message daily, targeted an estimated 1.5 million people across 15 counties. <spanstyle=”font-size: 16px;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;=”” text-align:=”” justify;”=””>
||<spanstyle=”font-weight: bold;”=””>2. Health
-UNICEF is one of the largest agencies providing essential supplies for use in treatment and care centres and for continuity of basic services. By 8 October, more than 900 metric tonnes of supplies were delivered to the region in support of partners, through a total of 73 flights.
-Supplies include protective gloves, safety goggles, Intravenous IV fluids, medicines, bars of soap and concentrated chlorine. A total of 50,000 protection kits are currently being delivered for use at community health facilities and Ebola care centres.
-UNICEF also supports the training of personnel in Ebola management, and community care centres with a ‘whole package’ of support including water supply, sanitation, solid waste disposal, hygiene standards as well as nutrition support.
-In Sierra Leone, UNICEF supports 8,158 is supporting antiretroviral treatment to children with HIV/AIDS in four districts affected by Ebola, to ensure continuity of care, through a NGO partner.
|3. Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH)
-In Guinea, UNICEF is supporting hygiene promotion and the distribution of WASH supplies, including soap, aquatabs, chlorine and disinfectants to health facilities and families. As of 8 October, UNICEF distributed 211,924 bars of soap and 78,000 bottles of chlorine for handwashing and household water treatment. UNICEF is also supporting the distribution of hygiene kits for health centres, health post, Ebola transit centres, schools and households.
-In Liberia, UNICEF has distributed hygiene kits, 14,766 households in Ebola affected areas received hygiene kits. About 164,500 people have been reached with hygiene promotion messages.
-In Sierra Leone, since June 2014, UNICEF and partners have reached more than 296,000 people (49,400 households) with essential Ebola prevention messages and held 1,030 Ebola sensitization meetings in seven districts.
-In Liberia, with 1.5 million students out of school resulting from the closure of almost 4,500 schools in Liberia, UNICEF is working with the Ministry of Education and partners to develop a radio education program to reach at least 1 million children with messages on Ebola prevention, basic literacy and psychosocial support amongst others. 408 teachers received training on psychosoical support, Ebola prevention, and safe and protective learning environments.
-In Guinea, UNICEF has finalized the training modules for teachers on Ebola.
-In Sierra Leone, all 7,740 schools remain closed. UNICEF and The Ministry of Education supports Emergency Radio Education Programme for school-aged children. Daily lessons are broadcast across the country on a network of over 40 radio stations.
5. Child Protection
-In Guinea, UNICEF and partners will provide about 60,000 vulnerable children and families in Ebola-affected communities with psychosocial support.
-In Sierra Leone, as of 13 October 2014, the 1,965 children are identified as being directly affected by the Ebola crisis. Of which 27 per cent are under-five years old, around 25 per cent have lost both parents and about five per cent have lost one parent. Over the next 6 months, more than 2,500 Ebola survivors–immune to the disease – will be trained to provide care and support to quarantined children in treatment centres. UNICEF also finalized the psychosocial training manual for Ebola affected communities.
-In Liberia, UNICEF is helping the government to train 400 additional mental health and social workers. So far, 110 social workers and mental health clinicians provided psychosocial, family tracing, reunification and reintegration support to 668 children in the 10 most affected counties. 111 orphaned, separated and unaccompanied children affected by Ebola have been registered to receive one-time cash assistance as part of immediate recovery support.
UNICEF is appealing HK$1.56 billion (US$200 million) to provide emergency assistance to children and families affected by the Ebola outbreak across the region, including protection activities.