· No new cases were reported in Sierra Leone in the period from 15 to 28 October 2015. If no further cases are reported, the end of the outbreak will be declared on 8 November 2015. UNICEF and partners continue to reinforce messaging around the need to remain vigilant and keep practicing safe behaviours.
· In response to the recent flare-up in the bordering Guinean district of Forécariah, UNICEF, through its implementing partners, is continuing to strengthen social mobilization activities on the need to maintain vigilance, report the influx of persons across the borders, intensify the screening, and report any rumors to the District Ebola Response Center.
· The Global Handwashing Day was celebrated on 15 October 2015. To mark the day, UNICEF facilitated the distribution of soap and engaged communities in all districts, through its implementing partners, on key messages related to the importance of hand washing.
· UNICEF, in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs (MSWGCA), continued to support the implementation of Project Shield. Project Shield aims at addressing the care for survivors and the risk of resurgence of sexual transmission. UNICEF and NGO partner GOAL trained 80 survivors on 12-13 October 2015 in the Western Area, on the registration and verification process of other survivors in pilot wards. The exercise was completed on 24 October 2015. Project Shield was also launched in Bombali district, where 22 survivors were trained on psychological first aid and are ready to be deployed to support the registration and verification exercise of all survivors in the district.
· UNICEF initiated the bridge education program, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) and the District Education Office, through the orientation of 1,000 teachers across the country. The bridge education support programme, which will benefit more than 3,000 pregnant school girls, is not in parallel to the formal education system, but will serve as an opportunity for pregnant girls to access education in their communities through either community learning centres or school-based learning spaces that will facilitate their reintegration into the formal education system after giving birth.