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

 

Israeli Soldier Kills PA Minister At Non-Violent Protest

Yesterday, an Israeli soldier killed Palestinian Authority (PA) Settlment minister, Ziad Abu Ein, at a non-violent demonstration in the village of Turmusaya. More>>

ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Ban on Palestinians claiming compensation against military
  • Pakistan School Killings

    GENEVA (16 December 2014) – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Tuesday condemned what he described as “an utterly despicable and incomprehensibly vicious attack on defenceless children” at a co-educational school ... More>>

    ALSO:


    Sobering Data On American's Apathy About CIA Torture

    Despite a scathing report on torture, a majority of survey respondents approve of the CIA's grisly methods. More>>

    Sea Shepherd Intercepts Toothfish Poachers

    Yesterday, at approximately 2152 AEDT, the Sea Shepherd conservation ship, Bob Barker, intercepted the illegal fishing vessel Thunder, at 62 15’ South, 81 24’ East, inside the CCAMLR (Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) ... More>>

    The White House: Charting A New Course On Cuba

    We are separated by 90 miles of water, but brought together through the relationships between the two million Cubans and Americans of Cuban descent that live in the United States, and the 11 million Cubans who share similar hopes for a more positive future for Cuba. More>>

    ALSO:


    Journalist Most Recent Victim Of Israeli Military

    Bashar, a journalist from Palestine TV, was shot in the left leg at Kufr Qaddum on Friday the 5th of December 2014. More>>

    ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Swiss government’s bid to convene a summit on Palestine
  • UN News - UN-backed reconstruction efforts continue in Gaza
  • UNICEF Mobilizes To Reach People Affected By Typhoon

    As Typhoon Hagupit wreaks havoc through the Philippines, UNICEF is acting quickly to support the Filipino government’s response to the emergency, providing lifesaving supplies and services for children and women in the areas hardest hit by cyclone-force ... More>>

    ALSO:

  • FAO - FAO praises government for early typhoon warnings
  • Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news