Saturday January 25, 2020

UNICEF Reports Unprecedented Number of Children in Congo Infected by Ebola Epidemic

Main activities include epidemic control, helping communities strengthen their response to the disease in at-risk areas, and delivering essential services

0
//
ebola
FILE - A Congolese health worker administers Ebola vaccine to a child at the Himbi Health Centre in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, July 17, 2019. VOA

The United Nations’ Children’s Fund, or UNICEF, reports an unprecedented number of children in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are being infected with Ebola and many are dying from this deadly disease.

Children account for more than 700 of the 2,671 reported cases of Ebola. UNICEF health specialist Jerome Pfaffman says more than half of the youngsters infected with this deadly disease are below the age of five.

Pfaffman, who has just completed his third tour of duty in northeast Congo, calls this number unprecedented. He says it is proportionally higher than the number of children who were infected in the 2014 West African outbreak, which affected about 28,000 people, killing more than 11,000.

ebola
A child is vaccinated against Ebola in Beni, Congo, July 13, 2019. VOA

“When I left there were 12 new confirmed cases,” he said. “Five were alive and will have the chance to access treatment, but seven had died in the community. This is bad. Having this number of community deaths means we are not ahead of the epidemic.”

Pfaffman says people living in conflict-ridden North Kivu and Ituri provinces are facing both a public health emergency and a humanitarian crisis, making it particularly difficult to bring this complex outbreak under control.

He says building community trust is crucial for this effort. He says treating children for illnesses other than Ebola is critical. He tells VOA when a child falls ill, the mother doesn’t know whether the child has malaria, measles or Ebola.

ebola
FILE – A woman and her children wait to receive Ebola vaccinations, in the village of Mabalako, in eastern Congo, June 17, 2019. VOA

ALSO READ: South Africa: Unemployment Reaches at Highest Level in a Decade at 29%

“You need to be able to take care of that child, whatever disease it is,” he said. “… By doing that kind of program, we will be able then both to treat that child for whatever disease he or she has. And, also identify quickly the Ebola cases, and refer them and control the outbreak.”

Pfaffman warns it will not be possible to bring this epidemic to an end without greater international support and more resources. He says UNICEF will have to more than triple its budget to respond to this complex crisis, requiring about $170 million over the next six months. Main activities include epidemic control, helping communities strengthen their response to the disease in at-risk areas, and delivering essential services. (VOA)

Next Story

Being a Part of UNICEF as Goodwill Ambassador is a Lifetime Privilege, Says Priyanka Chopra Jonas

Priyanka even took to Instagram to share what the award means to her

0
Priyanka
On the film front, Priyanka was recently seen in the Hindi film "The Sky is Pink". She is currently shooting for Netflix's "The White Tiger" along with RajKummar Rao. IANS

Actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas was honoured with the Danny Kaye Humanitarian Award for her philanthropic work as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Child Rights.

She was felicitated with the award at the 15th annual UNICEF Snowflake Ball on Wednesday here.

Priyanka even took to Instagram to share what the award means to her.

“I am in awe of the tireless efforts and unwavering commitment of the people who work for #UNICEF. Thank you for allowing me to be part of this journey. To serve as your Goodwill Ambassador is the privilege of my life.

“Special thank you to Geetanjali Master, UNICEF India, Marissa Buckanoff, my UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Chief, Henrietta H. Fore, UNICEF Executive Director, Caryl Stern, UNICEF USA President and CEI, and Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director | #UNICEFSnowflake Thank you to my team for your constant support,” she wrote.

Priyanka
Actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas was honoured with the Danny Kaye Humanitarian Award for her philanthropic work as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Child Rights. Wikimedia Commons

Congratulating his wife, Nick Jonas said that he is proud of her.

“I am proud of who you are and the good you’ve brought into the world as a goodwill ambassador with @unicef @unicefindia for over 15 years now. You inspire me every single day by just being you. Congratulations my love,” Nick wrote.

ALSO READ: Bhumi Pedneker Calls Herself a “Restless Actor”

On the film front, Priyanka was recently seen in the Hindi film “The Sky is Pink”. She is currently shooting for Netflix’s “The White Tiger” along with RajKummar Rao. (IANS)