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Safe and dignified burial in Liberia | by UNMEER
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Safe and dignified burial in Liberia

A burial team is lowering the body of a suspected Ebola victim into a grave in a new cemetery.

 

The burial site was opened on 23 December 2014 in the Disco Hill district to ensure that Ebola victims from Monrovia and the surrounding counties could be buried in a safe and dignified way. The cemetery is a much needed addition to the region since many Liberians were not seeking treatment or informing about the death of loved ones out of fear, their bodies would be cremated - a practice to which many Liberians are opposed out of cultural reasons.

 

Global Communities, in partnership with the USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance and the Government of Liberia secured the land for the site which is located less than an hour from Monrovia. The site includes Muslim and Christian sections, a temporary morgue, structures for administrative functions, sufficient parking space and an isolated disinfection area. Eventually the 25-acre site will have the capacity to accommodate 13,000 individual graves.

 

While Global Communities is managing the site and continuing construction during the initial phase, management will be fully transitioned to the Government of Liberia when the construction is completed and the virus is under control,

 

There are now 5 burial teams and disinfection teams working at the burial ground. They manage all aspects of dead body management and are trained in the same World Health Organization (WHO) methodology and standards as other burial teams around the country.

 

Disco Hill, Liberia, on 26 January 2015

Photo: UNMEER/Martine Perret

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Taken on January 26, 2015