ISLAMABAD: Nearly 4,000 children have lost both their mothers and their fathers as a result of the Ebola outbreak in west Africa.
The figures, compiled by the charity Unicef, showed that around 3,600 children had been orphaned in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Some 16,600 had lost either one parent or their main carer, The Telegraph reported.
The figures suggest that Ebola has created the biggest generation of child orphans since the civil wars that devastated Liberia and Sierra Leone in the 1990s.
Aid agencies have warned that while there are now signs that the outbreak is being brought under control, efforts need to be made to ensure that the orphans are properly looked after.
“As the Ebola-affected countries head towards recovery, we should take the opportunity to improve child protection services for all vulnerable children,” said Manuel Fontaine, Unicef’s regional director for west and central Africa.
There have been concerns that children whose parents have died from Ebola might find difficulties in being accepted into new homes, either by their extended families or by foster parents.