DRC / EBOLA NEWBORN BABY

11-Jan-2019 00:03:33
Dressed in pink, Sylvana, who is only five days old, lies in her mother’s arms. Her mother, Joséphine Ekoli, 28 is happy that she gave birth to a healthy baby after recovering from Ebola. Ekoli was infected with the virus and admitted to an Ebola treatment centre supported by the World Health Organization in December 2018. WHO
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STORY: DRC / EBOLA NEWBORN BABY
TRT: 3:33
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /FRENCH / KISWAHILI/ NATS

DATELINE: 09 JANUARY 2019, BENI, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
SHOTLIST
1. Various shots, street traffic in Beni
2. Various shots, Ebola treatment center exteriors
3. Various shots, the mother, Joséphine Ekoli, and her baby Sylvana
4. Various shots, Sylvana’s grandmother
5. SOUNDBITE (Swahili) Joséphine Ekoli, mother of baby Sylvana:
“You have to be careful, I had a good birth. I thank God for allowing me to have a safe birth. Now I recovered, I do not have any diseases and the baby was born healthy. I am very grateful for the great work that the team is doing. The mothers should not be afraid of dying from serious diseases. They are doing a good job at the hospital and the clinic.”
6. Various shots, Dr Susan McLellan, WHO patient care focal point
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Susan McLellan, WHO patient care focal point:
“I knew that they were following women who appear to be survivors of Ebola, who were still carrying a healthy pregnancy. This was something that was close to unheard of, in the last epidemic. That was really something really exciting to see a woman giving birth to a child after the period that she survived Ebola.”
8.Tracking shot, Dr Junior Ikomo, medical assistant referent at the Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA)
9. Various shots, Dr Junior Ikomo examining the baby
10. SOUNDBITE ( French) Dr Junior Ikomo, medical assistant referent at the Ebola treatment center:
“We did a (blood) sample on the newborn, we took a sample from the woman who gave birth, and we took a sample in the amniotic fluid, which made us fear a process of release of the virus. And after PCR (lab) testing, actually, the result came back negative. The reason why, we said to ourselves, that it was surprising and intriguing on a scientific point of view.”
11. Various shots, Dr Junior Ikomo with the baby
12. Various shots, the baby with her mother.
STORYLINE
Dressed in pink, Sylvana, who is only five days old, lies in her mother’s arms. Her mother, Joséphine Ekoli, 28 is happy that she gave birth to a healthy baby after recovering from Ebola. Ekoli was infected with the virus and admitted to an Ebola treatment centre supported by the World Health Organization in December 2018.

“You have to be careful; I had a safe birth. I thank God for allowing me to have a safe birth. Now I recovered, I do not have any diseases, and the baby was born healthy. I am very grateful for the great work that the team is doing. The mothers should not be afraid of dying from serious diseases. They are doing a good job at the hospital and the clinic.”

Historically, there have been very low survival rates for pregnant women infected with Ebola, and for their babies. “I knew that they were following women who appear to be survivors of Ebola, who were still carrying a healthy pregnancy. This was something that was close to unheard of, in the last epidemic. That was really something really exciting to see a woman giving birth to a child after the period that she survived Ebola,” says Dr Susan McLellan, WHO patient care focal point.

Dr Junior Ikomo, medical assistant referent at the Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA), which runs this treatment centre, says Sylvana’s case is both intriguing and fascinating. They realized she was Ebola-free after running blood tests. “We did a sample on the newborn, we took a sample from the woman who gave birth, and we took a sample in the amniotic fluid, which made us fear a process of release of the virus. And after PCR (lab) testing, actually, the result came back negative. The reason why, we said to ourselves, that it was surprising and intriguing on a scientific point of view,” says Dr Ikomo.

Babies born to mothers with Ebola are usually born already infected with the virus. These infants almost always die. In this outbreak, however, because of pediatric care of infants, there have been several who have survived. As far as we know, this infant is the first to be born Ebola-free to a mother who was previously infected with Ebola. Doctors will continue to follow the baby and her mother’s health closely to ensure they both stay well.
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