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Suiting up to keep safe - the roving Ebola burial team in Freetown, Sierra Leone | by DFID - UK Department for International Development
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Suiting up to keep safe - the roving Ebola burial team in Freetown, Sierra Leone

Alfred Kelfala from the roving Freetown Ebola burial team, puts on his safety suit – ready to carry a corpse, for the last time, to its grave for a safe and dignified burial.

 

Sierra Leone hasn't seen an Ebola case for 42 days – but in this time, all deaths were treated as potential cases, and all corpses were to be given a safe and dignified burial to help prevent any recurrence of the disease.

 

Now the country has come to the end of its 42 day countdown – the time required to be officially declared Ebola-free – the lifesaving work of the burial team is done.

 

It was one of the most dangerous jobs to take on during the outbreak – but also one of the most decisive in helping prevent the disease's spread.

 

UK aid supported over 100 burial teams – including Alfred's – to provide safe and dignified burials.

 

The unsafe burying of bodies was one of the most common ways the disease was being spread at the height of the outbreak – with local customs often meaning families washed down corpses when they were at their most contagious.

 

Britain co-ordinated the country's safe burial efforts – to prevent further spread, working with Adam Smith International, Sierra Leone's Ministry of Health and Sanitation and other aid agencies to train and supervise the teams on the ground.

 

No members of the burial teams have been infected - thanks to the careful controls put in place to keep them safe.

 

Picture: Simon Davis/DFID

 

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Free-to-use photo

 

This image is posted under a Creative Commons - Attribution Licence, in accordance with the Open Government Licence. You are free to embed, download or otherwise re-use it, as long as you credit the source as 'Simon Davis/DFID'.

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Taken on November 5, 2015