More than 8,000 orphans in Sierra Leone face long road to recovery, says World Vision
MISSISSAUGA, ON, March 3, 2015 /CNW/ - World Vision is urging global leaders attending today's European Union High-level Conference on Ebola in Brussels to offer increased support for children in affected West African countries.
World Vision is supporting temporary community care centres for orphaned children, who are being placed with extended families. The agency, which has conducted relief and development programs in Sierra Leone for almost 20 years, is working with Sierra Leone ministries to train teachers in psycho-social skills in preparation for schools to re-open in late March after a six-month closure. World Vision burial teams have conducted more than 2,800 safe, dignified burials to help contain transmission of the Ebola virus.
Given the recent rise of new Ebola cases in Sierra Leone, World Vision remains vigilant, working in partnership with government and other NGOs to reach zero new infections across the country.
- More than 8,000 children have been orphaned in Sierra Leone alone.
- More than 16,500 children have been directly affected by the Ebola outbreak since late May when the virus was first detected in the country according to the Sierra Leonean Government.
- Before the outbreak, Sierra Leone already had the highest maternal mortality ratio and the second highest child mortality rate in the world.
"Ebola has taken a huge toll on children's survival and health in Sierra Leone," says Leslie Scott, Director of World Vision Sierra Leone.
"This situation has only worsened in the past year," says Scott. "The Brussels conference is an opportunity for world leaders to commit further support to fighting Ebola now and during the coming recovery phase. We must ensure that our health care system, and all others sectors, including education, agriculture and livelihoods, are not just rebuilt following this crisis, but are transformed in order to prevent another unprecedented epidemic like this in the future."
Photos of World Vision's Ebola response in Sierra Leone
Available for interviews:
In Brussels, March 3: Magnus Conteh, Director of Global Health Programs, World Vision Ireland
In Freetown, Sierra Leone: Leslie Scott, National Director, World Vision Sierra Leone
World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. Visit our News Centre at worldvision.ca
SOURCE World Vision Canada