Over 6,000 Guinea Children Lost Parents to Ebola – UNICEF

Over 6,000 Guinea Children Lost Parents to Ebola – UNICEF © REUTERS/ Misha Hussain

22:20 29.12.2015(updated 22:41 29.12.2015) Get short URL

Over 6,000 children in Guinea have lost one or both parents due to the Ebola epidemic that had been raging in the country for two years, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said in a statement on Tuesday.

UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) – Earlier in the day, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Ebola virus outbreak in Guinea was over after the country saw no new infections in 42 days. Guinea will now enter a 90-day period of heightened surveillance to ensure a prompt response to any new cases.

According to the UNICEF data, a total of 6,220 children in Guinea lost one or both parents or their primary caregiver, while 230 survived infection and 519 were killed by the deadly virus. The organization also warned thousands of those who survived infection would be in need of continued assistance.

The total number of children who lost one or both parents to Ebola in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia – the three most affected countries – exceeded 22,000, UNICEF added.

“They are traumatized and continue to be stigmatized in their neighbourhoods. For thousands of girls and boys, the outbreak does not end today. It will be with them throughout their lives. Let us commit to be with them too,” Mohamed Ag Ayoya, UNICEF’s Representative in Guinea, said in a statement.

An Ebola outbreak began in December 2013, spreading from Guinea to Liberia and Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone officially ended its epidemic in November, while Liberia, which has recently entered its third countdown to become free of the virus, is expected to follow suit in mid-January.

According to the WHO data, Ebola has infected over 28,000 people and killed 11,315 worldwide as of December 20.

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