LILONGWE, July 27 (Xinhua) -- The British Department for International Development (DFID) has provided more than 590,000 U.S. dollars to UNICEF for Ebola prevention work in Malawi.
According to a joint statement from UNICEF, DFID and the Malawi government released Friday, the money will help train 500 health workers in nine districts of the country to prevent, detect, treat and manage Ebola.
The statement said despite the country being free from Ebola, there is a potential risk as about 500 refugees and asylum seekers enter Malawi every month, most of them from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
"Given the worrying developments (of Ebola) in DRC, it is essential that we help the Government of Malawi make preparations to prevent the virus entering and taking hold. Putting effective measures in place now will help keep Malawi safe," Desmond Whyms, Health Team Leader, DFID Malawi is quoted in a statement.
The World Health Organization last week declared the Ebola virus disease outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern. The virus has caused 1,621 deaths in the DRC as of July 17, according to the African Union.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock also said the world must try its best to avoid the DRC outbreak of Ebola reaching the scale of the outbreak in West Africa five years ago, when more than 10,000 lives were lost before a multi-billion-dollar response brought the cases down to zero.
Humanitarian assistance for the prevention and control of Ebola is being provided by countries and international organizations, sending medical resources to African countries.