Following the January event in Tonkolili, the WHO declared the end of the outbreak in Sierra Leone on 17 March 2016. However, cases in neighbouring Guinea and Liberia are again a testament that flare-ups are likely to occur; hence the need for the country to remain on high alert and ready to respond. Enhanced surveillance and sustained social mobilization efforts are therefore key over the next few months. In this context, UNICEF as pillar lead is supporting the government on its 10-24 months recovery plan to build on the lessons learned during the epidemic and better prepare the country to respond to health emergencies.
In response to the EVD flare-up in Guinea, Child Protection, WASH and social mobilization pillars in Kailahun district have been re-activated and put on alert. Essential stocks of Infection Prevention and Control supplies have been prepositioned in Kenema and two Community Care Centre kits deployed to Kailahun.
In Kambia, social mobilization efforts were sustained through the continued deployment of nine integrated surveillance and social mobilization teams and 77 dedicated section and chiefdom level mobilizers.
A secondary negative impact of the EVD epidemic in Sierra Leone is a more severe measles outbreak than otherwise likely, due to decreased measles vaccination coverage and virtually non-functional Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPD) surveillance systems during Ebola outbreak. UNICEF continues to support the response to the Measles outbreak.
SITUATION IN NUMBERS
As of 30 March 2016
8,706 Confirmed cases of Ebola
3,590 Confirmed deaths from Ebola
1,459 Confirmed cases of infected children under age 18 registered by MSWGCA
8,624 Registered children who lost one or both parents due to Ebola
UNICEF funding needs to March 2016 USD 5 million