Editing Office - Geneva
After being transferred to the treatment center, Bénédicte remained in isolation for more than a month. Ebola survivors, who are immune to the disease, were on hand to support Bénédicte – cradling and cuddling her and giving her the love that every newborn needs. The attention paid off. Day by day, Bénédicte’s condition began to improve, and she was eventually declared cured of Ebola. She left the treatment centre in the arms of her father, Thomas, who says that Bénédicte is his first child – and is already offering him hope. Cases like Bénédicte’s provide a welcome dose of optimism in a region that has been hard hit by Ebola. As of 14 January, there had been more than 600 confirmed cases of Ebola – and more than 400 deaths – during the recent outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. As part of its response, UNICEF and partners have provided care and psychosocial support to more than 500 children orphaned or unaccompanied by the Ebola virus in the region. In addition, they have been working to prevent the spread of the disease by offering briefings to teachers and providing hundreds of schools in high-risk areas with hand-washing facilities.