UNICEF expands campaign to fight ebola in West Africa

UNICEF recently stepped up its efforts to combat the spread of ebola in West Africa.

The expanded campaign comes as the death toll due to ebola rises above 500 in the region, according to a UNICEF press release.

UNICEF is increasing its anti-ebola efforts in seven countries in West Africa, including Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The campaign includes educational efforts through mobile messaging and ongoing TV, radio and print communications.

"The response goes beyond medical care," Manuel Fontaine, the UNICEF regional director for West and Central Africa, said. "If we are to break the chain of ebola transmission, it is crucial to combat the fear surrounding it and earn the trust of communities. We have to knock on every door, visit every market and spread the word in every church and every mosque."

UNICEF is also providing chlorine and soap to households, health centers in schools to halt the spread of ebola. More than 600,000 bottles of chlorine and two million bars of soap have been distributed since April.

UNICEF also appealed for $2.6 million to provide supplies and disseminate information regarding ebola in the at-risk countries.

The World Health Organization has reported more than 850 cases of ebola in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia so far.