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Who’s issuing fake death certificates?

Health authorities in Monrovia have embarked on inspection of health facilities, vowing to probe public concern that “fake death certificates” are being issued to the families of deceased Ebola victims to allow them carry on burials.

Since the outbreak across West Africa that is badly hit, governments in the subregion have been urging citizens against concealing sick or dead persons. In Liberia, families are ordered to get a non-Ebola death certificate for deceased relatives before burial.

But the head of the Medical and Dental Council of Liberia, Dr. George Mulbah, told UNMIL Radio’s Coffee Break on Wednesday that “Some people are concerned that people are dying of Ebola, but are getting certificate of non-Ebola deaths.” “We are going to probe this”, said Dr. Mulbah, who warned that the council will apply code of ethics against those carrying on such practice.

Besides the issue of fake death certificates allegedly being issued here under this Ebola crisis, he said the council was carrying on inspection of drug stores and health centers to know who were providing services there. He feared that in some health facilities, individuals who have not been authorized to render health services could be operating, especially in unauthorized health centers.

As such, Dr. Mulbah said others who are not trained in handling cases could be infecting themselves and increasing the number of health workers infected with the Ebola virus, though they may not be legitimate health practitioners. The Ebola death toll in Liberia continues to rise above other infected West African countries, and the World Health Organization or WHO has not seen any decline yet in this outbreak.

As at Tuesday, the WHO said the region had Ebola casualties of 2,296, with Liberia leading the number of deaths ahead of Sierra Leone, Guinea and other infected countries.

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