West Africa: Ebola Orphans Stigmatized and Abandoned
Russ JonesReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2014 Oct 03
An international humanitarian aid organization reports that at least 3,700 children in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have lost parent to Ebola since the start of the outbreak in West Africa.
"Orphans are usually taken in by a member of the extended family, but in some communities, the fear surrounding Ebola is becoming stronger than family ties," Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF's regional director, told CNN.
The report also finds that as the death toll from Ebola continues to rise, the number of children orphaned by Ebola has spiked in the past few weeks and is likely to double by mid-October.
“Thousands of children are living through the deaths of their mother, father or family members from Ebola,” said Fontaine, who just returned from a two-week visit to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. “These children urgently need special attention and support; yet many of them feel unwanted and even abandoned. Orphans are usually taken in by a member of the extended family, but in some communities, the fear surrounding Ebola is becoming stronger than family ties.”
Publication date: October 3, 2014