UNICEF raises US$10 million for 9th Ebola epidemic

Kinshasa, DR Congo (PANA) - The UN Childrens' Fund (UNICEF) said it raised more than US$10 million, including funds from several donors, to respond to the 9th Ebola epidemic, which broke out two months ago in North-West Democratic Republic of Congo, according to a communiqué obtained Thursday by PANA.

The statement said that the UNICEF teams in DR Congo immediately mobilised to help the government to control the spread of the disease, with particular attention to the communities with high risk people, including children.

The UNICEF response is mainly on the activities of communication and community mobilisation, water supply and hygiene promotion, aimed at preventing the spread of the disease and assistance to the families affected by the epidemic.

‘It’s thanks to the cooperation and the assistance of all partners, including the World Health Organisation (WHO). Under the coordination of the government, through the Health ministry, UNICEF has succeeded in mobilising the communities, bringing the populations to adopt preventive behaviours and responding efficiently to the needs of families and children during that response," the UNICEF representative in DR Congo, Gianfranco Rotigliano, said in the communiqué.

The interventions provided more than 160,000 people access to potable water and more than one million others, with risk, to be educated on the prevention methods against Ebola.

In addition, 53 families and about 600 people affected by Ebola, children particularly, benefited from psychological assistance.

The governments of of USA (USAID), Japan and Canada (CIDA), the European Union (ECHO), Cerf, Mercury Funds, Gavi and the World Bank, through its emergency financing mechanism in case of pandemic (PEF), supported the joint action plan implemented by the DR Congo government and partners, said the communiqué.

The Ebola virus outbreak in DR Congo was declared over, thanks to a concerted national and international effort to contain the threat, a UN top health official said on Tuesday.

The countdown to the announcement began on 12 June, when the last patient was released from care after testing negative a second time for the virus, whose symptoms include major bleeding and high fever, a UN press release said.

Speaking from the country’s capital, Kinshasa, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), hailed the “tireless efforts” of local teams in combating the deadly disease, which claimed 29 lives, and infected dozens more.

Mr. Tedros also congratulated health partners, donors and the DR Congo Ministry of Health for working together so effectively, to end the outbreak.

Out of 54 cases, 33 dead and 21 survivals were recorded.

The epidemic hit the province of Equateur, in North-West DRC, on 8 May 2018.

26 july 2018 20:41:09

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