A baby who was admitted to an Ebola treatment center in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo just six days after birth has now recovered from the deadly virus, health officials said, calling it a "young miracle."
The newborn girl named Benedicte was treated in the city of Beni, one of the current epicenter of the outbreak, after his mother, who suffers from Ebola, died on October 31 at birth.
Benedicte was released on Wednesday. The baby is considered the youngest survivor of the second largest and second longest Ebola outbreak in the world.
"She went home in her father's and her aunt's arms," the country's ministry of health said in a statement on Thursday
According to the Ministry of Health, paediatricians, intensive care specialists and nannies monitored the infant 24 hours a day for over a month. The nannies at the Ebola treatment center in Beni are former patients who have recovered from the illness and are better able to look after sick children with light protective clothing.
"They play an important role in caring for sick children who need more attention and a calming presence at their side during treatment," said the Department of Health.
Global health organizations have raised the alarm because many children are infected in the current Ebola The outbreak, which began on August 1 and now has 515 confirmed and probable cases, resulted in 303 deaths in two northeastern provinces of the Democratic Republic Congo bordering South Sudan, Uganda and Rwanda.
Children at higher risk than adults of dying from the often fatal form of hemorrhagic fever account for more than a third of all cases, while one in ten Ebola patients is a child under 5, according to the International Children's Fund of the United Nations (UNICEF).
"We are deeply disturbed by the growing number of children who have been found to have an Ebola contract," said Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa, who returned from Beni this week Statement on Tuesday.
"The sooner children with Ebola are treated in a specialized healthcare facility, the better their chances of survival are, and community activities and public awareness are also crucial for the early detection and rapid referral of suspected cases to Ebola treatment centers . "
More than 400 children were orphaned or orphaned Staying unaccompanied in this outbreak is when infected parents or carers are taken away for treatment or die, UNICEF, who opened a kindergarten next to the Ebola treatment center in Beni, said to support the youngest children whose parents are isolated there ".
"Children are very affected by this epidemic – both those who have lost parents or caregivers and those who have become infected themselves," said Poirier. "That's why it's imperative that children are placed at the heart of the Ebola response."