People immune to Ebola to form "pool of experts" on fighting the virus

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These children in Kailahun district, Sierra Leone, survived Ebola but lost parents to the deadly virus. Photo: UNICEF/Jo Dunlop

A "pool of experts" composed of Ebloa survivors is being established during a conference in Sierra Leone to help fight the disease.

Thirty-five Ebola survivors will travel to Kenema in the South East of the West African country for two days to launch this pilot project.

The UN says Sierra Leone has more than 2950 cases of Ebola and nearly 1,000 people have died from it.

The aim of the conference is to discuss how these survivors can help care for people quarantined in their communities and in treatment centres.

Christophe Boulierac of UNICEF calls it an "innovative move".

"The purpose is two-fold. First we want to provide the 35 survivors who will participate to this conference, we want to provide them with the psychosocial support they need. We know they are facing a lot of stigma, we know that they went through a terrible trauma and they need assistance. But that is not only that. We also would like to create a pool of experts… people who are immune and who can help us working with children especially in quarantine environment."

Caring for children who have been affected with Ebola is a key challenge for parents, health workers and humanitarians are facing, Boulierac adds.

The aim over the next 6 months, he notes, is to grow the "pool" to include 2,000 survivors.

The governments of Sierra Leone and the US have teamed up with UNICEF to organize this event.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’36″

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