UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom Visits Ebola Affected Communities

Orlando Bloom, the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador has just completed a four day visit to Liberia where the celebrated actor praised the efforts of communities affected by Ebola in combating the deadly disease. Mr. Bloom said everyone he met with was determined to deal with the crisis so they could return to their normal lives. He added that communities were central to the fight against the virus and should be supported in their efforts to get to zero cases.

Peer educators play a critical role

Peer educators have played a vital role in the response to Ebola, including adolescent boys and girls who participate in West Point’s A-Life project. West Point is a poor but heavily populated area of Monrovia. The group’s representatives met with Mr. Bloom and explained to him how the number of volunteers had exceeded 25,000. All the people help to raise awareness on how to stop the spread of Ebola and avoid getting ill.

Safety protocols have been introduced

At one severely affected community that lies on the border with Sierra Leone, Mr. Bloom visited a primary school and saw the safety protocols that were introduced following the reopening of the school after a seven month shut down. The protocols were introduced with the support of UNICEF and are designed to cut down on the transmission risk. The protocols include making children wash their hands before entering the classroom as well as taking their temperatures when they first arrive at school.

“Because of this outbreak, a million children in Liberia have had their school year cut in half. They’re excited to be back in the classroom but the precautions that every single one of them must follow every day are a reminder of the need to remain vigilant.” Mr. Bloom said.

Number of Ebola cases falling

Across West Africa, the disease has infected over 24,000 people including 5,000 children. So far the death toll has reached nearly 10,000. The good news is the number of Ebola cases has been declining in the region, though the battle remains far from over. Whilst health care workers continue to fight the disease, UNICEF has focused on rebuilding health and education systems.

Mr. Bloom is famous for acting in Hollywood blockbusters such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Lord of the Rings. He became a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF in October 2009 and in 2014 travelled to Jordan as he sought to meet the families and children that were worst affected by the crisis in Syria.

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