Medical aid worker carrying a child/ Photo:

What can we tell children about the Ebola crisis?

Like their grown-up counterparts, children are troubled when someone becomes sick. When their questions aren’t answered, they go to their next trusted resource.

Yup. The Internet.


What is Ebola?

Ebola is an infectious disease, highly contagious, and remains infectious even after death. Confirmed cases have been reported in West Africa, in the areas of Liberia,  Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Nigeria.

Since the outbreak began January 2014, nearly 24,000 people have been infected and more than 10,000 people have died.  According to UNICEF  some of the victims included 5,000 children. More than 16,000 children have lost one or both parents or their primary caregiver. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that an estimated 8.5 million children and youth under 20 years old live in Ebola-affected areas; 2.5 million are under the age of five.

Ebola symptoms often start with fever and headache like the flu. But unlike
the flu, it can lead to serious health issues like trouble breathing. Currently,
the survival rate of the outbreak is around 50 percent. There are no
medications that can effectively cure the virus, but hospital care can help
increase survival.


What is being done to end the crisis?

We can tell children who are fearful of getting sick that we can protect
ourselves from common illnesses like colds and the flu by keeping our
hands clean. For people living in areas affected by the Ebola virus, a hand
washing system, such as soap and bleach is helpful in saving lives.

Companies, corporations, agencies, and Churches worldwide are helping to
raise funds for vaccines to help fight the Ebola virus. Medical supplies are
also being donated for emergency relief. This past spring, when model
Naomi Campbell and top celebrities walked the catwalk during New York
Fashion Week to raise funds and awareness for Campbell’s Fashion for
Relief charity show, money poured in. But there are many more ways help
can be given.


Here are some of the ways we can help in the fight against Ebola:

Doctors without Borders   (

Rescue  (


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