UNICEF details Ebola outbreak's impact on children

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) released a report on Tuesday detailing the impact of the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, stating that approximately nine million children have been heavily impacted.

Of the approximately 24,000 confirmed cases of the Ebola virus disease (EVD), 5,000 of those were children. UNICEF reports that over 16,000 children have lost a primary caregiver; many have lost one or both parents in the outbreak.

“For many of the nine million children living in affected areas, Ebola has been terrifying,” the report said. “These children have seen death and suffering beyond their comprehension.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) released a report that stated no new cases of the disease were reported in Liberia for the second consecutive week. UNICEF Global Emergency Coordinator, Barbara Bentein, stressed the need for basic services to be re-implemented and brought to full capacity prior to the outbreak's beginning.

The organization has been involved in aid efforts regarding the opening of schools after being closed for several months. They state that improvements to health systems in these countries are a priority. Investing into this would allow for treatment to be available for diseases that affect children, including measles and pneumonia.

The WHO reports that over 24,000 confirmed cases have been reported and over 10,000 people have died from EVD since the outbreak began.

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