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

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

Canada NewsWire

KINSHASA/DAKAR/NEW YORK/GENEVA, Aug. 28, 2018 /CNW/ - 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.

On 13 August 2018, UNICEF Communications for Development Officers talk to children about the importance of Ebola prevention near Mangina, North Kivu, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). © UNICEF/UN0229509/Naftalin (CNW Group/UNICEF Canada)

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:

  • train school principals and more than 1750 teachers in the affected health zones about Ebola and protection measures against the virus;
  • organise communication activities for parent committees and local authorities on prevention measures in schools;
  • prepare teachers to educate all children at the beginning of the school year on good hygiene practices to contain the spread of the virus;
  • distribute 500 laser thermometers – 2 in each school - to monitor the health situation of children;
  • install 1500 hand washing units – 6 in each school – to promote handwashing and hygiene;
  • distribute megaphones and prevention posters in every school.

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

About UNICEF
UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca. For updates, follow us on Twitter and Facebook or visit unicef.ca.

SOURCE UNICEF Canada

View original content with multimedia: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/August2018/28/c1395.html

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