GENEVA / UNICEF EBOLA APPEAL

30-Jul-2019 00:01:50
An unprecedented proportion of children are contracting the deadly Ebola virus in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), prompting UNICEF to appeal for USD 170 million in additional funding to combat the disease. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / UNICEF EBOLA APPEAL
TRT: 1:50
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 30 JULY 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Exterior shot, Palais des Nations
2. Wide shot,: journalists
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Jerome Pfaffman, Health Specialist, UNICEF:
“We are two days from the one-year milestone of the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is a wakeup call, there must not be a second-year milestone.”
4. Med shot, journalists
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Jerome Pfaffman, Health Specialist, UNICEF:
“When I lead there were 12 new confirmed cases, five were alive and will have the chance to access treatment, but 7 had died in the community. This is bad.”
6. Med shot, journalists
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Jerome Pfaffman, Health Specialist, UNICEF: “Having this number of community death means we are not ahead of the epidemic.”
8. Close shot, Journalists
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Jerome Pfaffman, Health Specialist, UNICEF:“Colleagues and communities, on the ground are fighting the outbreak tirelessly. But we need desperately international community to back us up.”
10 Close shot, journalists typing
11.SOUNDBITE (English) Jerome Pfaffman, Health Specialist, UNICEF:
“UNICEF will need to triple its budget to respond to this complex crisis.”
12.Close up, journalists typing
13.SOUNDBITE (English) Jerome Pfaffman, Health Specialist, UNICEF:
“When you are a mother and you have a child that is sick, you don’t know if this child has malaria, measles or Ebola. You need to be able to take care of that child, whatever disease it is”
14. Close up, journalists typing
15.SOUNDBITE (English) Jerome Pfaffman, Health Specialists, UNICEF:
“We are at a, in the moment, when it could go either way, and that is the moment where we need to do this massive investment in turn this epidemic and to control it.”
16.Med up, journalists
STORYLINE
An unprecedented proportion of children are contracting the deadly Ebola virus in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), prompting UNICEF to appeal for USD 170 million in additional funding to combat the disease.

Since the start of the outbreak in the region one year ago, 2,671 cases have been confirmed to date of which more than 700 are children, according to UNICEF. More than half of the affected children are below 5 years old. There have been 1,700 reported deaths so far -- as many as 35 per cent are children.

“We are two days away from the one-year milestone of the Ebola outbreak in the DRC. This is a wakeup call, there must not be a second year milestone,” UNICEF health specialist Jerome Pfaffman told reporters in Geneva today (30 Jul).

Returning from his third deployment to the DRC, Pfaffman reported escalating numbers of unexpected new infections. “When I left, there were 12 new confirmed cases, five were alive and will have the chance to access treatment, but seven had died in the community. This is bad. Having this number of community deaths means we are not ahead of the epidemic,” he said.

One of the reasons children are disproportionally affected, according to Pfaffman, is that many parents are unable to tell the difference between the early symptoms of childhood diseases and those of Ebola infection. “When you are a mother and you have a child that is sick, you don’t know if this child has malaria, measles or Ebola. You need to be able to take care of that child, whatever disease it is.

With an active conflict in the northeast of the DRC, local communities are facing both a humanitarian crisis and a public health emergency at the same – a factor that is further complicating the provision of critical health services to children.

As the crisis escalates, UNICEF are continuing their operations but say that a massive scale up is needed now. “Colleagues and communities on the ground are fighting the outbreak tirelessly”, Pfaffman said.

“UNICEF will need to triple its budget to respond to this crisis, but we need desperately the international community to back us up.”

The rapidity of the response to the appeal will be decisive in confronting the epidemic, the UNICEF expert said. “We are in the moment when it could go either way, we need to make this investment in order to keep the epidemic under control.”
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