Media Group Takes Government To Task Ebola Dead Bodies, Mass Burials

Muslim cleric offering prayer for dead ebola victims before burrial
Muslim cleric offering prayer for dead ebola victims before burrial

The attention of the Liberia Environmental Media Action Group (LEMAG) has been drawn to the failure of the Liberian Government to promptly collect and bury corpses of people suspected to have died from Ebola in various communities in and around Monrovia.

The group in a press release issued in Monrovia Wednesday, said any delay by the government or relevant authorities to remove dead bodies from street corners and communities has the propensity to worsen an already bad public health situation in the country.

The media development and advocacy group said since July several dead bodies have been seen in communities and street corners, including Freeport, Battery Factory, Shoe Factory and Bardnesville Junction as well as the St Paul Bridge community.

The release, signed by LEMAG’s Executive Director Peter Fahn, said such delay by relevant authorities to remove dead bodies in communities has caused residents to riot in demand of the removal of said corpses.

According to the press release, LEMAG also frowned on the Ministry of Health “Ebola Rapid Response Team” for not promptly responding to emergency calls for ambulance from community residents in order to take patients to medical facilities for immediate treatment.

While applauding the government for steps taken so far as well as announcing US$5 million to fight Ebola, LEMAG wants the government to procure more ambulances and safety gears for health workers to enhance their response against the rampaging epidemic. The group said if the Ministry does not work to improve its respond-time,   the situation could result into the death of patients.

Meanwhile, LEMAG has called on the government to avoid burying Ebola victims in populated residential communities and near water bodies or wetlands.

LEMAG said the mass burial of dead bodies in populated residential areas is likely to result into adverse public health and environmental hazards amidst the rampaging Ebola outbreak. Instead, the group recommends that the government identify suitable burial sites far away from both residential communities and fragile ecosystem, including water bodies and wetlands.

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Author: D K Sengbeh

Danicius Kaihenneh Sengbeh (author of Sengbeh's Weblog) is a respected and renowned Liberian journalist, poet and writer with with journalism experience since 2001, of working both as a mainstream journalist and a communication/media consultant in Liberia. He is Secretary General of the Press Union of Liberia (elected Dec 2013). He was Assistant Secretary General of the Union Dec 2011 to Dec 2013. He is also Editor-In-Chief of The Informer Newspaper—one of Liberia’s credible dailies. Before joining the Informer, Danicius had served as reporter, chief reporter, sub-editor and News Editor at The Independent Newspaper between 2002 and 2006. Before then, he was reporter at the defunct Patriot Newspaper and Kiss FM 2001-2002. Danicius is a UN Media Fellow and Liberia’s first UN Medal Award-winning journalist for his contribution to journalism and for being the second Liberian journalist in 15 years to qualify for and successfully attended the United Nations’ Reham Al-Farra Memorial Journalist Fellowship Program in New York and Geneva, Switzerland in 2012. He earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Mass Communication and Sociology from the University of Liberia and a Diploma in Journalism from the International School of Journalism. He holds several awards and recognitions both in and outside of journalism, and carries dozens of certificates in journalism and communication from studies in Ghana, China, United States and Switzerland, among others. He volunteers as Chair of the Information and Communication Committee of his local Bardnersville community. He can be quickly reached via (+231) 886586531/777586531/777464018/ dakasen1978@yahoo.com

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