UNICEF sat down with an Ebola survivor, one of the earlier cases in the country – Kadiatou*. She met us on a main street in Conakry and walked us back to her home, through scores of children playing football on muddy roads. We sat on plastic chairs in a circle while her mother hung the laundry behind us.
New Ebola B-roll is now available
On the occasion of the end of the school year, UNICEF’s Representative in Guinea Dr. Mohamed Ag Ayoya wished all the children of Guinea a healthy and safe summer break.
Dr. Mohamed Ag Ayoya also congratulated all of the students who passed their examinations, and said that he hopes “to see greater numbers of students in class during the next school year”.
Press statement in French: http://bit.ly/1o4603I
These girls learned masonry, plumbing, & other trades usually reserved for men to restart their careers thanks to @unicefguinea @usaid @tdh_ch
UNICEF, the World Health Organization, Ministry of Health, and other partners have conducted a cholera vaccination campaign which targeted more than 140,000 women, men, and children on the islands off of the Guinean coast where cholera outbreaks are common.
As a part of the vaccination campaign, UNICEF provided 32,000 chlorine bottles and 72,000 bars of soap and promoted simple hygiene methods such as hand washing with soap and home water treatment.
On the Day of the African Child this year, we sat down with two girls who benefited from UNICEF’s Education enrolment programmes.
Mariame, 16 years old, left school when she was 10 to take care of her dying grandmother. When her grandmother passed away, Mariame was above the age of enrolment. She didn’t believe there was a way back. So for three years she was idle.
Mariam’s father heard about the NAFA centre on the radio and immediately enrolled her. There she caught up with the basics of reading, writing, French, and arithmetic in addition to career training and civic education. She has now reached the seventh grade and has aspirations to attend university. When we spoke to her she told us that she still needs assistance for supplies and uniforms as her father is a retired veterinarian.
“UNICEF helps children and they gave me a second chance to receive an education.”
Hadiatou left school after her father died. Her mother was raising six children and took her out of school. For five years she wished she could return. One day she told a friend about her desire to return to school and learn a trade. Her friend told her about these “second-chance centres” supported by UNICEF.
The next day, Hadiatou went to the NAFA centre and enrolled. There the teachers gave her the training she needed to open up her own business. Now she earns enough money to support her mother and her sister who is still living at home. “I want to continue with my work, build my business, and make it grow. Both my mother, who is sick, and my sister depend on me.”
In Guinea, 48 per cent of girls do not complete their primary schooling. UNICEF works hard to find the girls who, due to poverty, location, or exploitation, are not in the classroom—-and work with the communities to enroll them.
To achieve this goal, UNICEF supports NAFA schools. The word NAFA literally means “benefit” in several local languages; they are known as “second-chance centres”. With the Guinean government, UNICEF and partners such as Plan International - initiated these centers to rehabilitate Guinean youth, especially young girls who have never been to school or dropped out early. Via these centers, the children are given an accelerated primary education in addition to vocational training.
UNICEF and partners vaccinating over 1.1 million people in Guinea to halt meningitis outbreak
This weekend, the Government of Guinea, the World Health Organization, and UNICEF completed a vaccination campaign in the country’s Eastern Region where a recent meningitis outbreak has already caused at least 52 deaths since the beginning of the year.
The campaign, which reached over 95 per cent of those aged 1 to 29 living in the affected areas of Mandiana and Siguiri, lasted for six days. UNICEF and partners reached close to 1,153,000 people. Additionally, local teams have conducted an information campaign on rural radio and through direct community sensitization in gathering places to educate the population about the dangers of meningitis to children and to provide details on the locations of vaccination centres. Furthermore, the cold chain, which keeps the vaccines viable, was strengthened.
“Along with Ebola, Guinea is facing many other health crises,” said Dr. Mohamed Ag Ayoya, Representative, UNICEF Guinea. “We confront measles, malaria, malnutrition, and meningitis. Despite all of these challenges, I am happy to announce on the Day of the African Child, that we were able to complete the meningitis vaccination campaign and protect children from this deadly disease.”
Guinea is located in the “Meningitis Belt” stretching from Senegal to Ethiopia where in the last 15 years there have been an estimated 700,000 cases with a fatality rate of more than 10 per cent. Meningitis is a seasonal disease that tends to be most active during the dry season.
From 2005 to 2010, outbreaks have been recorded in the Guinean districts of Lola, N’Zérékoré, Tougué, Faranah, and Labé for a total of 831 suspected cases with 139 deaths or 16.7% lethality. In the beginning of 2013, the country recorded 85 suspected cases of meningitis and 13 deaths (15.3% fatality rate) and since the beginning of 2014, 539 suspected cases and 52 deaths (9.6% fatality rate) were reported.
"No religion recommends practices that so obviously harm the health of people."
UNICEF Representative Dr. Mohamed Ag Ayoya opens the Month of the child & launches national campaign against FGM/C in Dabola, Guinea #endFGM #AfricanChildDay #monthofthechild
Dr. Ayoya praised the Government for ending school fees, focusing efforts on #girlseducation, and the Ministry of Social Action’s work against Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting (FGM/C).
Guinea has the second highest rate of FGM in the world. Some 96% to 98% of girls are cut…many before they reach nine years old.
Unicef and partners support girls’ sports leadership #girlpower @embassyconakry (at Dixin Guinée)
During the summer season in June, Guinea girls are cut en masse. To combat FGM/C UNICEF and our partners have developed a Public Service Announcement on TV and the Radio in six languages throughout the country. Guinea has the second highest percentage of women cut in the world.
It is with deep regret that we announce the death of our friend and colleague, Mr. Isaac Faya Leno Emergency specialist in Guinea Conakry under circumstances that subject to an ongoing investigation.
Isaac was a valued member of the UNICEF family. As the Emergency coordinator, his work for the children of Guinea was essential to the success of the team. He will be sorely missed.
Isaac is survived by his wife and three children.May he rest in eternal peace and may his family find comfort during this trying time.
Here is a video of Isaac working to contain the spread of Ebola.
Schoolgirls in Guinea, Conakry, in solidarity with the kidnapped schoolgirls in Nigeria, demand their return.
GAC Director General & Minister of Social Action attend handover of $250,000 to Unicef to fight #ebola