The Ebola crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has just been declared a public health emergency of international concern. This is the second deadliest outbreak in history and we need to act now to stop this terrifying disease and save the lives of affected children.

Nearly one year after an Ebola outbreak was declared in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, more than 1,600 people have died and reported cases are quickly spreading.

Neighbouring countries including Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, and South Sudan have been forced to amplify preparations to ensure children and communities are protected from this devastating disease.

With the help of UNICEF a new vaccine has been made available that is highly effective if a patient can be reached within ten days. But the disease is spreading too quickly and the fatality rate is alarming; 77 per cent of children under five will die once infected - currently one of the groups with the highest levels of infection.

UNICEF's field staff are currently working hard on the front lines of the Ebola crisis to support the safety, survival of at-risk and already affected children. 
As the Ebola-affected region grows, UNICEF representative Gaby May talks to students to raise awareness of Ebola and how to prevent and recognise symptoms of the disease © UNICEF/UN0311495/Tremeau.

UNICEF has launched a wide-scale response to meet the urgent needs of communities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where deaths have already been recorded, and in at-risk neighbouring countries Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, and South Sudan. 

UNICEF's life-saving response for children and families includes:

  • Huge public health information and messaging to help prevent infection and to help families keep themselves safe and seek medical help immediately if they feel unwell.
  • Large scale supplies to provide safe drinking water and sanitation facilities in schools, health centers, and public places to help curb the spread of infection.
  • Providing counselling and specialist support for those who have lost family members and children who have been left orphaned.
UNICEF and our implementing partners have 1,200 staff on the ground, along with nearly 2,000 social mobilisers and psychosocial workers contributing to these key areas of response. 

This is an ongoing crisis. In 2018 UNICEF's expert team of humanitarian staff:

  • Provided sanitation and hygiene services to over 380 health facilities and 400 schools as a part of infection prevention and control, and the reduction of transmission in the health system.
  • Provided psychological and nutritional care to 421 infected children admitted to Ebola treatment centers as well as over 400 orphans and separated children.
  • Deployed supplies valued at almost $4.5 million to help us resource and bring together partners and agencies working to achieve the biggest impact for affected children.
UNICEF's response for affected children like Christ-vie includes infection prevention and control, psychosocial and nutrition support, pediatric care, and support for supplies and logistics © UNICEF/UN0311502/Tremeau.
UNICEF is providing much needed support for children like Christ-vie, who at seven-months-old has been left orphaned after her parents died from the disease.

Her caregiver, Ruth, survived Ebola - which flooded her body with high levels of protective antibodies, practically eliminating the likelihood of her catching the virus again. Because of her immunity, Ruth has returned to the centre to help children whose mothers are suffering from Ebola by cradling, feeding, and holding them.

Christ-Vie’s family should soon come to take her back home, but UNICEF will provide her care in the meantime. An important part of UNICEF's work in this region is to engage with locals to dispel myths and misconceptions around the disease and the stigma faced by those affected. 
“Our work is not done until
the last case is successfully
treated, and transmission
completely stopped.”
Your support is essential in making sure that the most vulnerable children in affected countries across Africa can receive life-saving health care. 

UNICEF continues to work hard to support affected children and continues to provide immediate and long-term support to help them survive and thrive under such horrific conditions. 

Please help us respond to the urgent needs of children in the affected regions of Africa.
Together we can help provide for
Ebola Children's Crisis

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