Via FrontLineAfrica, a September 3 report: Dead Bodies Everywhere - Are Ebola Hotlines Really Working?
Since the Ebola outbreak, the Ministry of Health and Social welfare announced several numbers as Ebola hot lines for citizens to call health workers for suspected cases or dead bodies. Unfortunately, several residents in and around Monrovia have continuously complained that nobody picks up these hot lines whenever a body is identified, hence leaving abandoned or unidentified bodies in many communities or on the streets, unless attention is drawn through a riot, by dwellers in those communities.
As in the case of the former Ministry of Education Building on Broad Street in Monrovia, an identified handicapped man with both legs amputated, died in his wheelchair right at the entrance of the building, since Monday and the body was not picked up by health workers despite repeated calls and the conspicuous location of the body on the main street of Monrovia.
“I know this man from the street, and he was sick for a long time, but yesterday he vomited and toilet on himself before he died,” says Francis Blama, another handicap in a wheel chair in the scene. “I think this man die from cold, but because of this crisis Ebola, everybody thinks it is Ebola. Since yesterday, we called the Ebola people to come for the body, but nobody has come,”
It can be recalled that since the Ebola outbreak, two separate communities in Bushrod Island took to the street and created road blocks to demonstrate calling the attention of health workers to remove several dead bodies of people who died in their houses. The riot that created tension, brought police on the scene, and people got wounded while some sellers lose their market.
Since those incidents, many other communities like the Duport community in Paynesville, Matadi community in Sinkor and other places have followed suit by creating roadblocks to draw attention for bodies to be removed. On Sunday in Sinkor, a lady brought a helpless five year old child to the street to call attention.
According to the lady who is the child’s aunt the child’s mother died of Ebola five days after, and she brought her to the street to call attention because she had called the Ebola hot lines but nobody has been able to come for the child.
According to an eyewitness on the scene, who did not want to be named, the little girl was only picked up by health workers because a WHO vehicle stopped and called the Ministry of Health and reported the incident.
“If the WHO workers had not called the Ministry of Health, the child would have died. And the only reason the ambulance came, was because WHO happens to be a donor partner, and Ministry says it needs money for Ebola. So they have to pretend as though they are working”, the aunt said.