UNICEF mobilizing hundreds of community workers to fight Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo

response to the Ebola outbreak in the DRC

Scaling up in response to the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, UNICEF, with the DRC Government and partners, is mobilizing hundreds of community workers to raise awareness among children and families of how to protect themselves against the disease. The community workers will also play a crucial role in providing communities with information on the Ebola vaccination campaign, planned to start next week.

The community workers, deployed to Bikoro and Mbandaka health zones, aim to help contain the spread of the outbreak through information campaigns, social mobilization and community engagement, including disseminating information through radio, religious institutions, markets, schools and youth associations.

“It is crucial that communities understand how to protect themselves at home and in public places, especially in health facilities and schools,” said Dr. Gianfranco Rotigliano, UNICEF Representative in the Democratic Republic of Congo. “Experience in previous outbreaks has shown that when we engage communities in prevention efforts, we stand the best chance of containing the disease.”

In addition to public information campaigns, UNICEF has provided supplies for water and hygiene, including water purification tablets to the Ebola Treatment Centers and communities in Bikoro and Mbandaka, and installed disinfection points in four further health facilities.

Hand-washing points have also been installed in 50 targeted schools in affected areas in Mbandaka, and an additional 72 schools in Bikoro will soon receive hand-washing equipment. Schools are being equipped with thermometers to monitor the health status of children.

“We will do everything we can to make schools safe and ensure that children’s education is not disrupted,” said Dr. Rotigliano.

Since the declaration of the Ebola outbreak by the Minister of Health on 8 May 2018, UNICEF has deployed 4,585 kg of supplies, including soap, tarpaulins, buckets and chlorine to support water, sanitation and hygiene activities.

Photo and video material is available here: https://weshare.unicef.org/Package/2AMZIFVNIIMM

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Yves Willemot

Yves Willemot est le chef de l’Équipe InfoCom de l’UNICEF RDC. Plus que tout, ce qui est important pour lui c'est d'être "tous ensemble pour les enfants".

Yves Willemot is Head of the UNICEF DRC InfoCom Team. More than anything, he believes that the most important is to "be together for the children".

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