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Ebola Affects 3,483 Children


Ebola Affects 3,483 Children

By Abdul K Turay…………..
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), an organisation within the United Nations (UN) that takes care of the health and education of children all over the world has identified three thousand, four hundred and eighty three children as being directly affected by the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone.
According to a UN Ebola Outbreak report of November, 2014, Ninth Edition, UNICEF led Family Tracing and Reunification (FTR) network has discovered 1,734 girls and 1,749 boys affected by the deadly Ebola epidemic. The report further states that, “253 girls and 250 boys confirmed Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) cases”.
UNICEF also confirmed that 884 children have lost one or both parents to Ebola. According to the report, 261 children have survived the disease.528 children, UNICEF maintained, have been provided with Psychosocial Support Services (PSS) and 200 reunited with families or foster care.
Meanwhile, UNICEF has been supporting rapid Social Mobilization Response activities in all hotspot areas in the districts of Bo, Bombali, Kambia, Koinadugu, Moyamba, Port Loko, Tonkolili and Western Area.
On 17th October, 2014, with UNICEF support SMS messaging has been able to reach over 1.5 million subscribers across the country. In Kailahun, 28 health staff participated in the Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) training in which 81 Peripheral Health Units( PHUs) in the 14 districts have benefitted from trainers training programme.
However, the number of children affected by Ebola, according to UNICEF November report has painted a bleak prospect of the future of children in post Ebola Sierra Leone where access to health and education for children will be the most challenging for the authorities in Sierra Leone. As the country is still grappling with the dark realities of Ebola, this figures reveal by UNICEF is most likely to increase.

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