Hollywod Star Orlando Bloom Visits Ebola-Ravaged Liberia
March 26, 2015
Orlando Bloom is just back from a four-day visit to Liberia where he visited students and leaders in Ebola-affected communities.
The UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and Pirates of the Caribbean actor also met with volunteers and peer educators who have helped raise awareness in how to stop the spread of the deadly virus.
UNICEF says he's the "first high-profile person to visit since the Ebola outbreak."
"Everyone I met was determined to beat Ebola so that they can resume their normal lives," said Bloom after meeting with leaders in Monrovia, according to a release from UNICEF. "Communities have been at the center of the fight against Ebola and must continue to be supported because of their crucial role in getting to zero cases."
Schools in a community on the border with Sierra Leone recently opened after a seven-month shutdown.
Bloom got to observe the safety protocols that have been introduced to reduce the risk of transmission, including taking children's temperatures when they arrive at school and making them wash their hands before entering the classroom.
"Because of this outbreak, a million children in Liberia have had their school year cut in half," said Bloom. "They're excited to be back in the classroom but the precautions that every single one of them must follow every day are a reminder of the need to remain vigilant."
More than 2 million children have been affected by the Ebola outbreak, and hundreds of them have died, lost parents or primary caregivers and other close family members.
The World Health Organization said last week that Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have recorded 24,597 cases of Ebola and 10,114 deaths since the epidemic began more than a year ago.
Bloom, who has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2009, traveled to Jordan last year to meet with families impacted by the Syrian crisis.
Source: By Ann Oldenburg - USA Today