A few months ago we shared a blog post explaining how UNICEF is helping to fight Ebola in affected countries. A lot of progress has been made since then – Liberia recently reached zero cases – so we wanted to update you on all the work that has – and still is – being done.
1. Working with communities
Because communities are at the heart of the response, we have been working closely with them to promote behaviours that help stop the transmission, such as safe burials and handwashing. We engage in dialogue with key members of communities and conduct massive outreach campaigns, and have been going door-to-door, visiting more than two million households.
We support community care centres, have helped set up rapid intervention kits and trained health workers in Ebola-specific protocols. We also provide water and sanitation to Ebola treatment units.
2. Revitalizing non-Ebola health services
While the priority remains to get to zero Ebola cases, we’re also helping revitalize non-Ebola health services. We have provided massive treatment for malaria and are taking part in major measles immunization campaigns.
3. Protecting schools
We’ve helped governments put in place measures to minimize the risk of transmission at schools, including temperature taking and handwashing, and helped train teachers in applying these protocols. We have supplied soap and buckets for the vast majority of schools in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
4. Improving hygiene and sanitation
We’ve been working to improve hygiene and sanitation, promoting handwashing, and distributing hundreds of thousands of bars of soap as well as buckets with taps. Proper hygiene is key to stopping the transmission of the Ebola virus.
5. Delivering supplies
We have been delivering supplies that are important for the treatment and care of people who are sick with Ebola, for the protection of health workers and for continued supply of basic services. By mid-April we had delivered about 8,000 metric tonnes by air and sea to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.