#EBOLA: Thousands Of Orphans Neglected, Says UN


At least 3,700 children in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have lost one or both parents to Ebola this year, the UN children’s agency has said.

Finding care for them is proving incredibly difficult because the children are stigmatised, Unicef added.

Some are “being fed by neighbours but no more”, the agency said.

The World Health Organisation says more than 3,000 people have died of Ebola in West Africa – the world’s most deadly outbreak of the virus.

The Unicef figure on the number of children orphaned because of Ebola follows a two-week assessment mission in the three countries worst-affected by the outbreak.

It found that children as young as three or four-years-old were being orphaned by the disease.

Children were discovered alone in the hospitals where their parents had died, or back in their communities where, if they were lucky, they were being fed by neighbours – but all other contact with them was being avoided.

The UN children’s agency says there is an urgent need to establish a system for identifying and caring for Ebola orphans.

It will be holding a meeting on the issue in Sierra Leone next month but before then it wants potential carers to come forward.

An earlier version of this story said that 4,900 children had lost parents but the correct figure is 3,700.

Source: Punch

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