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$4.3m needed for Ebola prevention in South Sudan: UNICEF

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July 29, 2019 (JUBA) – At least $4.3 million is required to fund Ebola virus prevention and preparedness activities in South Sudan until the end of September, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) said on Monday.

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Congolese health worker administers Ebola vaccine to a woman who had contact with an Ebola sufferer in the village of Mangina in North Kivu province of the DRC, August 18, 2018. (Photo Reuters)

The agency, in a statement, said it is working with government, other UN bodies and partners to disseminate prevention messages and engage communities to help protect them from Ebola.

"The active involvement of communities is key to avoid infections. We are working closely with them to create awareness and understanding of transmission routes, and promoting hand-washing and good hygiene practices, which are the most effective prevention measures," said UNICEF’s representative in South Sudan, Mohamed Ag Ayoya.

Ebola is a rare, but deadly viral disease that causes fever, body aches, diarrhea and sometimes bleeding inside and outside the body.

Since January, UNICEF and its partners have reportedly engaged over 3 million people in South Sudan with Ebola prevention messages.

The UN agency and its partners have also trained 450 front-line mobilizers who knock on doors; organize community meetings and engaging religious and local leaders to spread life-saving messages.

Ayoya said the early detection and containment of recent Ebola cases in Uganda came as a result of increased public awareness.

"Our teams and partners on the ground working in the communities confirm that an increasing number of people are now aware of Ebola, and the protection measures they can take to avoid infection," stressed.

South Sudan suffered Ebola outbreak in 2004 after the World Health Organization (WHO) reported 20 cases, including five deaths, from Ebola hemorrhagic fever in the Western Equatoria town of Yambio.

(ST)

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