World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UNICEF: 'Basic health care cannot be Ebola's next casualty'

'Basic health care cannot be Ebola's next casualty', says UNICEF, ramping up support to Liberia

23 August 2014

As part of the overall United Nations push to assist West Africa in battling the worst outbreak of Ebola in history, a cargo plane carrying 68 metric tonnes of supplies from the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) landed today in the Liberian capital, Monrovia, bringing urgently needed items to shore up the country's weakened healthcare system.

In a press release UNICEF says that today's shipment, from the agency's global supply hub in Copenhagen, contained basic emergency items for front-line health workers to protect themselves and prevent the spread of infection.

The items included 27 metric tonnes of concentrated chlorine for disinfection and water purification and 450,000 pairs of latex gloves. Also on board were supplies of intravenous fluids, oral rehydration salts and ready-to-use therapeutic food to feed patients undergoing treatment.

Liberia is one of four West African countries, along with Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, currently battling the Ebola virus disease outbreak, which the UN World Health Organization (WHO) says has claimed more than 1,300 lives. The official number of cases in the countries has surpassed 2,400, and overall, some 1 million people have been impacted.

Just yesterday, Dr. David Nabarro, Senior United Nations System Coordinator for Ebola, was in Monrovia on the first leg of a visit to the region. He told reporters that more health workers would be brought to the country to deal with the outbreak, saying “The United Nations is looking at ways to radically scale up support to fight Ebola.”

The supply flight today was met by representatives of UNICEF and Liberia's Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. Supplies will be distributed to health facilities nationwide, many of which are critically short of basic health care materials. Coupled with a shortage of manpower, this has left thousands of Liberians without access to treatment and essential health care.

As of Friday, 20 August, there have been over 1,000 confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola in Liberia, with 613 deaths linked to the outbreak. In part, the rapid spread of the disease is due to the country's weakened health care system, which had been seriously damaged by years of civil war.

“Basic health care cannot be Ebola's next casualty,” said Sheldon Yett, UNICEF's Liberia Country Representative, who noted that the agency has been working on multiple fronts since the beginning of the outbreak to provide critically needed supplies as well arming communities with the information they need to stop the spread of the disease.

“This shipment will complement those efforts with a new surge of supplies to equip health facilities, support infection control, and protect health workers on the front lines,” he added.

Next week, UNICEF will airlift additional health supplies on behalf of the Government of Liberia made possible through funding from the World Bank. UNICEF will also be helping the Government assess the country's supply chain capacity, which has been weakened by the crisis.

UNICEF is also deploying teams of traditional communicators to spread prevention messaging in communities across Liberia, and producing print communications and radio programming to raise public awareness of the outbreak.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Signs Of Ebola Decline In Liberia Offer ‘Glimmer Of Hope’

Equipped with UNICEF-developed and Government-approved awareness materials, these girls go door-to-door in West Point, Monrovia, to educate their parents, family members and friends about Ebola and how it can be prevented. Photo: UNICEF/UNI171713/Griggers More>>

ALSO:

Allegations Of Misreporting By Joint Darfur Mission

Ban ‘Deeply Troubled’ by Findings of Review of Allegations of Misreporting by Joint Darfur Mission More>>

Status Quo Not Viable Option’ In Jerusalem

Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefs the Security Council at its meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe More>>

ALSO:

  • ITUC - Israel’s Settlement Expansion is an Outrage
  • World News: No To TPP Trade-Offs

    No to TPP Trade-Offs, Say Public Health, Fair Trade Activists at Sydney TPP Ministers’ Meeting More>>

    ALSO:

  • AFTINET - Fair Trade Group Calls for Release of TPP Text
  • Al Jazeera Interpol Rejects Egypt Request For Red Notice On Journalist

    Interpol, the international organisation for police cooperation, has rejected a request from Egypt to issue one of its red notices against Ahmed Mansour, an Al Jazeera journalist. More>>

    UN-Backed Study: Fruit Flies To Prompt Better Pest Controls

    Bactrocera dorsalis is causing “incalculable damage to horticultural industries and food security” across a swathe of countries in Asia, Africa, the Pacific and parts of South America. Photo: IAEA/Viwat Wornoayporn More>>


    ‘The Only Way To Stop Ebola Is At Its Source’ – UN Chief

    Girls in the city of Voinjama look at a poster that displays information and illustrations about how to prevent the spread of Ebola. Photo: UNICEF/2014/Liberia/Jallanzo More>>

    ALSO:

  • Christian World Service - CWS appeals for help to Stop Ebola
  • UN: Multi-Billion Dollar Horn Of Africa Pledge

    UN’s Ban, Global Leaders Join Forces in Multi-Billion Dollar Horn of Africa Pledge More>>


     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news