About Careers MedBlog Contact us

Reuniting Children Orphaned by Ebola With Their Relatives, a UNICEF Attempt

by Julia Samuel on February 11, 2015 at 12:44 PM
Font : A-A+

Reuniting Children Orphaned by Ebola With Their Relatives, a UNICEF Attempt

Considering children who were orphaned by Ebola in Guinea, UNICEF has made appropriate arrangements. Families who take in their relatives' kids get cash and material assistance, counseling and help in accessing school.

UNICEF reported that 773 children in Guinea have lost both their parents due to the worst Ebola outbreak and their relatives have taken them all in. Recently, their relatives due to the fear that they might spread the disease abandoned the children in West Africa.


"Since overcoming their initial fears and misconceptions about Ebola, families have been showing incredible support, providing care and protection for children whose parents have died," Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF's regional director for West and Central Africa, said in a statement.

According to the aid organization, an estimated 16,600 children in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone lost one parent, both parents, or their primary caregivers to Ebola. But less than 3 percent of those children had to be placed outside family or community care.

Unaccompanied children who could have possibly come into physical contact with an Ebola victim were given center-based care where they remained under observation for 21 days the maximum incubation period of the Ebola virus, according to UNICEF.

Aid groups ramped up their psychological support efforts during the early period of the crisis when kids, after watching a parent die, worried about having nowhere to turn. One critical tool was training Ebola survivors, who had built up immunity to the disease, in how to treat and counsel kids.

Harris Wureh, a 17-year-old in Liberia whose mother died from Ebola, told a UNICEF worker, "I don't know what will happen to my sister and I after the 21 days [of quarantine]."

UNICEF, and other humanitarian groups, educated communities about how Ebola spreads and worked to identify relatives who could welcome kids in need. International adoptions were put on hold in November though grieving children were desperate for homes and other basic necessities and the focus was on reuniting families.

Najwa Mekki, a UNICEF communications officer, told the Associated Press, "The first priority is to reunite children with their close relatives or other community members willing to look after them. Making permanent decisions about children's long-term care should be kept to an absolute minimum during this period."

Fontaine said, "As the Ebola-affected countries head towards recovery, we should take the opportunity to improve child protection services for all vulnerable children. We have a chance to address other forms of vulnerability that existed before the Ebola crisis, such as child marriage, child labor, sexual violence and exploitation."

Source: Medindia


Recommended Reading

Latest Tropical Disease News

Hope for Pregnant Women: New Malaria Study Offers Optimistic News
Pregnant women in Korogwe, Tanzania are found to have a high risk of contracting malaria, which is one of the deadliest diseases in sub-Saharan Africa.
Nasal Swab can Help Detect Early Warning of Emerging Viruses
Can nasal swab test save you from emerging diseases? Yes, simple nasal swab can offer early detection of new deadly viruses.
<i>Naegleria Fowleri</i> Infection: Deadly Brain-Eating Amoeba Kills a South Korean Man
Brain-eating amoeba (Naegleria fowleri) infection claims a South Korean man's life.
Infrared Light Beam to Detect Malaria
Harmless infrared light is used to detect malaria with the help of a computer algorithm processed by a smart phone.
Monkeypox Virus in Testes of Non-human Primate Survivors Detected
Monkeypox virus may be shed into semen during both acute and convalescent stages of the disease in crab-eating macaques.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close

Reuniting Children Orphaned by Ebola With Their Relatives, a UNICEF Attempt Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests