The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has introduced a new National Policy on dead bodies swabbing. The Deputy Director for Environment and Occupation at the Ministry of Health, Amos F. Gborie, said all dead bodies in the country are to be tested for symptoms of the Ebola Virus before burial.
Speaking at the Ministry of Information regular press briefing Tuesday, August 4, on Capitol Hill in Monrovia he said henceforth, all dead bodies would be swabbed or tested to distinguish Ebola bodies from a normal dead bodies.
He noted that the swabbing method prompts Public Health response as it was done on June 29, 2015 in Margibi County, adding that it enables health authorities to assist families by providing them options in the burial of deceased relatives.
According to him, Liberia has enough testing capacity for the dead bodies and health workers have been trained to do the swabbing. Mr. Gborie said the swab collection takes about 24 hours and results will be given to family members except Ebola positive bodies, which will be taken over by health workers for proper burial.
The Liberian government has halted cremation of Ebola bodies and secured about 50 acres of land in Margibi County to be used as cemetery. Director Gborie said the Health Ministry will work with funeral homes in the country to make sure dead bodies are buried safely to prevent spread of the deadly Ebola virus.
He said health authorities noticed that during the heat of the Ebola crisis, funeral homes were out of business because all bodies were reported to the health team for safe burial. He urged community leaders and family members to remain vigilant by demanding swabbing of dead bodies in their community or family to help contain the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease. By Ethel A. Tweh – Editing by Jonathan Browne