UNICEF warns of "extreme crisis" as epidemic continues unabated

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The United Nations children’s agency warned on Monday that the Ebola epidemic was an “extreme crisis” that was having an impact of “historic proportions.”
UNICEF’s chief of crisis communications, Sarah Crowe, said the disease was currently “outpacing” the efforts of aid agencies to combat it.
She said at least two-thousand children have been orphaned as a result of the crisis.
UNICEF is fighting a battle on two fronts: tackling Ebola itself, and at the same time, trying to deal with the disease’s impact on basic health services, such as vaccination programmes for children and care for pregnant women.
Crowe, who has just returned from five weeks in Liberia, said it would be “an absolute outrage” if large numbers of children died from preventable diseases as a consequence of the epidemic.
The organisation says there are 2.5 million children under five in the areas affected by Ebola – Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Children face both the direct risk of exposure to the virus, as well as secondary risks as a result of the death of caregivers and family members, such as the loss of access to routine health care, vaccination, and education.

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