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Ebola disrupts Liberia birth records, poses trafficking threat-un

Aug 11, 2015 The U.N. children’s agency UNICEF recently revealed that the Ebola outbreak has disrupted to a great proportion of birth registrations in Liberia, due to the closure of several health facilities. This situation effectively leaves thousands of children without citizenship and exposes them to the dangers of being trafficked or illegally adopted

According to UNICEF, the number of birth registrations fell from 79,000 in 2013 to 48,000 in 2014 and only 700 children had their births registered between January and May this year.

The¬†United Nations Children’s Fund went on to say that it is in the process of revamping the birth registration systems in Liberia ahead of a planned nationwide campaign later this year to reach all children not registered since 2014. This announcement came on the heels of a five-day birth registration and polio vaccination campaign in neighboring Sierra Leone where 250,000 children were registered

Veronica Dixon, a mother of some recently registered children in Bong County, on the outskirts of Monrovia, said:

“It’s important because when you have the child you need to have all the things for them. Maybe you go somewhere and someone asks you, ‘when was the child was born?’ If you don’t know, they’ll give you a hard time. Some people say you can’t come to the hospital for treatment if they don’t know when the child was born. Some don’t know the time. They can only stand there, scratching their heads,”

Liberia was declared Ebola free on May 9 but has now reported several new cases in the past months. Everybody is anxiously anticipating the development of an Ebola vaccine which the WHO recently confirmed is underway.

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