As Liberia continues to piece its communities together after the Ebola saga, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has embarked on a distribution of 700,000 teaching and learning kits to thousands of schools across the country, where the epidemic interrupted the education of over one million children.
The 700,000 kits are to be distributed to 4,460 schools in all counties and districts of Liberia in order to ensure the continuity of education and learning for students in Liberia. The schools reopened in February after a six-month closure due to the health threat and more than 800,000 children have returned since then.
UNICEF has also provided infection prevention and control kits to assist students and teachers return to school, teach and learn effectively using basic resources. The delivery of the materials, which will be expedited in view of the rainy season, will continue over the next four months.
The Ebola epidemic, which wrecked the economies of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, was discussed as part of the agenda at the recently concluded G7 Summit in Germany. United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron declared that the G7 must “wake up” to Ebola-type threats in order to prevent more deadly pandemics.
“The recent Ebola outbreak was a shocking reminder of the threat we all face from a disease outbreak. Despite the high number of deaths and devastation to the region, we got on the right side of it this time thanks to the tireless efforts of local and international health workers. But the reality is that we will face an outbreak like Ebola again and that virus could be more aggressive and more difficult to contain,” he said.
“It is time to wake-up to that threat. We must be far better prepared with better research, more drug development and a faster and more comprehensive approach to how we fight these things when they hit. The UK will lead the way but we need a truly global response if we are to face down this threat,” he added.
As part of current efforts to ensure readiness to deal with a recurrence of the virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) has begun testing the efficacy of two Ebola vaccines on volunteers. The global health authority would also hold meetings with experts in order to fasten the development of vaccines and drugs that can be used during any future outbreak of infectious diseases.