UNICEF steps up support for children ahead of new school year in Ebola-affected areas of Eastern DRC

30 Aug 2018 09:37 AM

As more than 82,500 children prepare for the new school year in Ebola-affected areas of the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), UNICEF is scaling up education, health and water, sanitation and hygiene programmes to assist the schools to provide a protective learning environment for children and their teachers.

The Government of the DRC recently made the decision to proceed as planned with the start of the school year in the affected provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, where some 250 schools are listed as being in Ebola-affected health zones.

“Education is a right for every child and essential for children to develop to their full potential. Especially in times of crisis such as during an Ebola outbreak, schools are vital for children to find stability, learn prevention measures and receive psychosocial support,” said Dr Gianfranco Rotigliano, UNICEF Representative in the DRC following his visit to Mangina, the epicentre of the Ebola epidemic. “Every effort must go into ensuring a smooth and safe start to the new school year,” he added.

School principals and teachers will receive training on Ebola prevention and protection, and how to educate children on good hygiene practices to avoid the spread of the virus. To ensure schools in the affected health zones are well prepared for early detection and response, UNICEF is distributing health and WASH supplies including laser thermometers, hand washing units and megaphones as well as prevention posters to 250 schools.

UNICEF and partners are working to:

Photo and video material is available here:  https://weshare.unicef.org/Package/2AMZIFVO6F29

For more information please contact:

Morwenna Darby, 0207 375 6124, morwennad@unicef.org.uk

Unicef UK Media Team, 0207 375 6030, media@unicef.org.uk

About Unicef

Unicef is the world’s leading organisation for children, promoting the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow’s children. As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK. For more information please visit unicef.org.uk