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UNICEF warns of Ebola risk to health services

brussels bureau

UNICEF warns of Ebola risk to health services


The UN has warned that thousands of children are at risk from the disruption caused to health services by the Ebola epidemic.

UNICEF, the United Nations’ Children Fund, says that medics in Western Africa are struggling to cope.

It says 2.5 million youngsters under the age of five in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia live in areas affected by the virus.

Sarah Crowe, Unicef Chief for Crisis Communications, told euronews that “it is really critical to revitalise the basic health services and that means incentivising, giving proper salaries.”

“It would be an absolute outrage if more and more children started dying from preventative diseases such as measles in the the face of this outrageous epidemic,” she added.

The charity Save the Children warns that five people are being infected with the virus every hour.

And, according to UNICEF, the situation got so dangerous that many humanitarian workers decided to leave Liberia.

“People are afraid to come in. Many health NGOs have left the country,” said Crowe.
“Some are starting to come back now, because they realise that if you don’t attack Ebola within West Africa, it will spread outside.”

The UN agency says it has received just one quarter of the 200 million dollars (160 million euros) in financial aid that it says it needs to combat the outbreak.

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brussels bureau