Photos and video from Ebola-affected countries can be downloaded from: http://uni.cf/1xZAb39
TORONTO, Dec. 12, 2014 /CNW/ - UNICEF today announced an expanded fight against the Ebola virus in West Africa over the next six months, costing a total of US$500 million – of which just 24 per cent ($125.7 million) has been secured.
The funds will enable the children's organization to continue tackling the two major drivers of Ebola transmission – lack of early isolation of patients and unsafe burials – while seizing opportunities to strengthen primary health care and social support systems in one of the poorest regions in the world.
"Ebola has dealt a deadly blow to three of the world's poorest countries—where fragile health systems already meant that children and mothers were at great risk of dying from preventable causes like diarrhea, malaria, malnutrition and birth complications. In addition to the climbing death toll from Ebola, this crisis has been devastating for the existing health services and the children and mothers who so critically rely on them," said David Morley, President and CEO of UNICEF Canada.
"Canada has been a global leader on child and maternal health and we need to ensure that the progress made on saving lives isn't lost as yet another victim of this Ebola outbreak. With the right investments at the community-level, public health services in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone can emerge from the Ebola outbreak stronger and more equipped to save lives on a daily basis and respond to future crises," said Morley. "We encourage Canada to continue its strong commitment to halting this Ebola outbreak and reaching the most vulnerable with treatment and prevention efforts."
Funding through the appeal would be used to:
- Promote life-saving behaviours including safe burial and early isolation practices through mass media campaigns, house to house campaigns and the training and deploying of around 60,000 community volunteers;
- Support up to 300 Community Care Centres (CCCs), transit centres, observation centres and rapid isolation facilities in rural areas;
- Provide child protection services for up to 10,000 children whose parents or caregivers have died from Ebola;
- Maintain stocks of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other critical Ebola-related commodities such as those essential for infection prevention and control; and
- Maintain or prepare to safely re-start basic health and education services.
UNICEF's Global Ebola Coordinator on community-level support needed
"UNICEF is accelerating its work in the heart of communities to stop the outbreak, support early isolation of cases, promote more safe burials and raise continued awareness and understanding of the virus and its risks," said Dr. Peter Salama, UNICEF's Global Ebola Coordinator. "But as we take the fight against Ebola into communities, we can also seize an opportunity to help build robust primary health care and other social services that will provide long-term benefits for children and families, after Ebola has been defeated."
"By training more local volunteers, establishing more physical structures close to people's homes, supporting community health workers and social workers, and capitalizing on the determination of many Ebola survivors to help provide care to those affected and at risk, we can both fight the disease today and start shaping better ways to deliver vaccination, treat malnutrition, improve antenatal care and increase safe deliveries for the future," he said.
UNICEF is also supporting countries at risk of Ebola outbreaks to be fully prepared, through proactive awareness raising campaigns and, in advance of any outbreak, supporting protocols for surveillance and case detection and management.
UNICEF working with Ministries of Education
The Ebola response supported by UNICEF also impacts on other sectors beyond health. With schools closed, UNICEF is working with Ministries of Education and other partners to support continued learning by airing daily lessons on national and community radio stations, and through self-directed learning modules. Work is also ongoing to prepare for the eventual safe reopening of schools. Tens of thousands of teachers are being trained in psycho-social support techniques, Ebola prevention and safe and protective learning environments, again to strengthen community-based responses.
Download multimedia content at: http://weshare.unicef.org/mediaresources
UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.
UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.
SOURCE: UNICEF Canada
For further information: To arrange interviews or for more information please contact: Tiffany Baggetta, UNICEF Canada, 416-482-6552 ext. 8892, 647-308-4806 (mobile), [email protected]