5-year-old boy and his grandmother die from Ebola virus in western Uganda
KAMPALA, Uganda, NAIROBI, Kenya and NEW YORK, June 13 2019 /CNW/ - UNICEF has launched an emergency Ebola response plan in Uganda following the confirmation of the first three cases of the Ebola Virus Disease in the country over the past two days.
Among the cases was a 5-year-old boy who, following a visit with his family to the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), returned to Uganda on 9 June and died on Tuesday night after having been transferred to the Bwera Ebola Treatment Unit in Kasese.
The boy's grandmother also died from the virus in Kasese district on Wednesday, where almost 400,000 children live.
UNICEF's shift to its response phase in Uganda follows months of preparedness and prevention efforts as Ebola cases increased in DRC.
"As our thoughts are with this young boy's family, this is a tragic reminder that even one case of Ebola is one too many," said UNICEF Representative in Uganda, Dr. Doreen Mulenga.
"We must do everything possible to stop this outbreak in its tracks and prevent other needless deaths. UNICEF is intensifying its efforts to do so and minimize this outbreak's potentially devastating impact on children and communities at-large in Uganda."
Over the past several months, UNICEF has supported the Government of Uganda in implementing extensive programmes to make sure communities in numerous districts in western Uganda bordering DRC are prepared for a potential outbreak.
UNICEF support includes:
"Awareness is the best way to prevent the spread of this virus. Strategically communicating the correct knowledge and best practices to affected communities is critical to doing so which, among other key interventions, UNICEF will provide its full support to moving forward," said Mulenga.
UNICEF requires $3.9 million to support the Government of Uganda's Ebola response with intensive Risk Communication and Social Mobilization, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Infant and Young Child Feeding, and Psycho-Social support interventions to children and their families.
UNICEF is the world's leading humanitarian organization focused on children. We work in the most challenging areas to provide protection, healthcare and immunizations, education, safe water and sanitation and nutrition. As part of the United Nations, our unrivaled reach spans more than 190 countries and territories, ensuring we are on the ground to help the most disadvantaged children. While part of the UN system, UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations to finance our live-saving work. Please visit unicef.ca and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
SOURCE UNICEF Canada
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