19 August 2014

Liberia: 'Too Many Bodies' - Rep. Alarms Over Uncollected Ebola Dead

Photo: Idrissa Soumare / IFRC
Volunteers also hand out soap and a chlorine solution for disinfecting premises.

Monrovia — Representative Sekou Kanneh (UP-District #2 Montserrado County) has alarmed over the delay in the collection and testing of dead bodies by the National Ebola Task force established by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Representative Kanneh said, communities in his district including; Mount Barclay and Black Gina communities currently have over six dead bodies that have been there for the past six days and are believed to have died from Ebola but the Task force is yet to pick up those bodies.

Kanneh said: "This is also causing a health hazard for people of those communities because if someone dies and the body is kept for more than four days without being disposed it could cause serious health problem and if this is done, our situation will only get worse and our effort to fight against the spread of Ebola will not be achieved."

According to the District #2 Montserrado County Lawmaker for the past days he has made all efforts by calling numbers available as hotlines but there has not been any response from those responsible to pick dead bodies especially those suspected of dying from Ebola. Recently the President ordered prohibiting burying unless after testing proves negative of Ebola and the security apparatuses were given a direct mandate to implement the order given by the chief executive.

The UP lawmaker who is from a Muslims background believe that the state of denial is a major problem for the people of his district and called on the National government to focus more on instituting measures that will prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.

Two weeks ago at a gathering, the chairman of the National Muslim Council, Sheik Kafumba Konneh warned all Imams against the washing of the corps of dead people. As per their tradition, Muslims normally wash the bodies of dead people before burial a practice many see as one of the root causes of the spread of the Disease. Konneh also called for measures to be put in place to ensure the quarantining of families whose members people died of Ebola and fumigation of their residents.

In an effort to Fight Ebola the government of Liberia has received and continues to receive donations from friendly governments around the world with the approval of five million United States dollars in the process by the National Legislature with 2.5 Million already been made available.

The government has received US$1 million support from China in material support, over fourteen million from the US government through USAID a disclosure that was recently made by USAID, with the latest from the UK and Japan in the tune of 1.5Million for Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea with 8.3 Million commitments.

Meanwhile, Representative Kanneh has distributed essential nonfood items community members to be used in preventing the spread of the Ebola virus. The materials include chloride, Buckets, and soap and other basic essential bathroom sanitary materials.

Making the presentation the District #2 lawmaker warned people to stop denying the existence of the virus and also warned them against the washing dead bodies.

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