· As of 3 December 2014, according to the Government of Sierra Leone, the cumulative number of laboratory confirmed Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases is 6,132. The number of confirmed deaths is 1,601 and 1,172 have been discharged from treatment (survivors). The government estimates that around 22 percent of cases are children (0-17 years).
· To date, the UNICEF-led Family Tracing and Reunification (FTR) network has identified 9,524 children as being directly affected by the Ebola crisis (4,826 girls and 4,698 boys), including 4,349 children having lost one or both parents to EVD. This is an increase of 2,474 affected children from the previous reporting period.**
· UNICEF supported the celebration of World Aids Day in Pujehun on 1 December 2014, by involving 20 children (10-17 years) in a quiz competition that was aired on Radio Wanje. During the competition children called in to respond or ask questions about Ebola and HIV, including how the viruses are transmitted, prevented and the stigma associated with each.
· UNICEF is stepping up efforts to provide dignified care for suspected EVD patients at community level. With funding from DfID, UNICEF has supported the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) to open 28 community cares centres (CCC). In Bombali the 15 CCCs are fully operational and receiving patients, while all 13 CCCs in Tonkolili are conducting ‘dry-runs’ to ensure adherence to infection prevention and control (IPC) protocols and safety of staff before admitting patients. Seven CCCs in Tonkolili will start receiving patients by 8 December 2014 while the remaining will be receiving them by the end of that week. Construction is underway for 12 sites in Kambia.
· On 28 November 2014, the President officially opened a UNICEF funded Observational Interim Care Center (OICC) in Bo, managed by Childfund, where he commended child protection agencies for their efforts in ensuring the care and protection of children affected by Ebola.
· UNICEF’s flagship programme, U-Report was launched in Sierra Leone on 28 November 2014. The free mobile platform and social monitoring tool uses SMS technology to allow young people (13 to 35 years) across the country to engage in issues that impact their lives. Initially, U-Report will focus on the Ebola response, where UNICEF or members of the platform can send out targeted questions and get rapid feedback. To date, 194 U-Reporters have been registered (38 percent female, 62 percent male).
· UNICEF Sierra Leone is 98 percent funded against the six month humanitarian action for children (HAC) appeal of USD 61 million issued on 16 September 2014. However, given the unprecedented scale of the crisis and increasing needs in the country, the current funding appeal is under revision.