Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ebola: Families of victims in Liberia bribe retrieval teams to keep bodies for traditional burials

Some of the teams sent to retrieve bodies of suspected Ebola victims in Liberia are allegedly accepting bribes to issue death certificates, locals and health workers say. The families of the victims are paying off the retrieval teams to let them keep their loved ones bodies and give them traditional burials.

The Ebola virus is highly infectious through exposure to bodily fluids, and its early rapid spread in west Africa was attributed in part to relatives touching victims during traditional funeral rites.

Teams have since been employed to either cremate or bury victims, but the outbreak continues to show no sign of slowing with more than 4,000 dead and twice as many infected.

While the Liberian Government acknowledged there had been reports of retrieval teams issuing fake death certificates, it claimed the teams did not have the 'capacity' to issue certificates.

Meanwhile, Liberian health workers have reported for duty at hospitals, largely defying calls for a strike that could have further hampered the country's ability to respond to the epidemic.

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