Via the Daily Observer, an editorial: Burying Our Ebola Dead: MOH Cannot Escape Its Urgent Professional Responsibility. Excerpt:
We carried on Monday a very sad, disturbing story about two decomposing Ebola bodies in Weala, Margibi County, that have had a traumatic effect on the town and its inhabitants. The deceased, members of the Tate family, had been dead for well over a week and all attempts to get Health workers there to remove the bodies have proved unsuccessful.
This terrible episode has forced inhabitants of the neighborhood to flee the area, becoming displaced persons in their own town.
Only last Tuesday, August 5—coincidentally the very day the Tates died—we published an editorial calling on government to return to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare its professional responsibility for burying the Ebola dead.
We argued that caring for the dead is not a political function relegated to the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), as suggested by Health Minister Walter Gwenigale, but rather a medical and scientific function that often involves a medical doctor, especially with specialization in pathology.
And now here we are, with people dropping dead all over the place and the seeming total confusion and incapacity of government to handle their remains. In the Jos Hansen area of United Nations Drive down Waterside last weekend, another corpse was found and neighbors had to put it in a plastic bag and haul it by rope to be buried in a shallow grave. In Grand Cape Mount, too, an Ebola body was recently abandoned in a home, where they left an eight-child. The child also died.
It is very sad that the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOH) has rejected our argument that they, more than any other GOL agency, are responsible for dead bodies, most especially the highly contagious Ebola dead.
On Tuesday morning, Liberia’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Bernice Dahn, told the Daily Observer that MOH “is no longer responsible for Ebola bodies, but the Ministry of Internal Affairs.”
This means that MOH has failed to see that because they have surrendered their medical and scientific responsibility, leaving Ebola bodies to politicians, who have NO expertise in this business, bodies continue to lie unattended, causing greater spread of the epidemic.