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Oxfam in collaboration with Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s affairs, UN Women and Statistics Sierra Leone identify Gender lapses in the Ebola response

March 5th, 2015 Posted in English, Gender, Sierra Leone

A study report assessing the gender dimensions of Ebola Virus Disease has found that issues relating to women need to be at the forefront of the emergency response. This report was launched on Tuesday, 24th of February at the Family Kingdom attracted about 50 stakeholders including Donor Agencies, UN, INGOs, NGOs and the members of the Media.

The study entitled ‘The Multisector Impact Assessment of Gender Dimensions of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Sierra Leone’ was jointly supported by OXFAM, UN Women, Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs and Statistics Sierra Leone in December 2014. The study has generated national comprehensive data on the impact of Ebola from a gender perspective.

OXFAM’s Country Director Thynn Thynn Hlaing said: “OXFAM puts women’s right at the heart of all its programming. Moreover, Oxfam having noticed that gender issues are silent in the Ebola response, thought it wise to collaborate with UN Women, Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs and Statistics Sierra Leone to put the study report together to capture the key gender issues that need to be addressed in the response.”

“As the report has clearly revealed that more female were infected in terms of the disproportionate rate of infection and mortality between women and men, I hope the Ministry of Social Welfare and other actors will take the lead to ensure the findings of the report will be factored into the Ebola Recovery Planning and its response.”

“Thynn Thynn called on the public to continue the practice of hand washing and stay away from risky behaviours that will reverse the gains we have made in the Ebola fight.”

The survey of 2788 post-quarantined households identified that 56.7% of EVD infections impacted women, whilst 43.3% were male. The study found that women are the higher risk group when it comes to contracting Ebola because they are the primary care givers in the home and in the public health system.

The report also identified that there has been a sharp decline in maternal and child health indicators as medical facilities were overwhelmed and women are afraid to attend normal clinics.

It also noted that 29% of pregnant women under quarantine did not receive antenatal checkups and 24% of these post quarantine homes with under five children did not take their normal vaccine doses mainly for fear of contracting EVD.

Most female respondents referred to the way they were removed from their homes to treatment centres as ‘Traumatising as if we were criminals’.

The report will be published nationwide by all partners and it is expected to be a working document to address the gender related issues in the Ebola response.

Source : http://awoko.org/2015/03/03/sierra-leone-news-oxfam-in-collaboration-with-ministry-of-social-welfare-gender-and-childrens-affairs-un-women-and-statistics-sierra-leone-identify-gender-lapses-in-the-ebola-response/

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