Meet the world’s bravest undertakers – Liberia’s Ebola burial squad

By: Molly Gorny | Date: Mon, August 11th, 2014

The World's Bravest Undertakers

The World's Bravest UndertakersIt is impossible to imagine how difficult it must be to work on the front lines of the Ebola crisis. We see the faces of the medical professionals dealing with the deadly disease on the nightly news so we can identify somewhat with the challenges they face. What doesn’t readily come to mind is the aftermath of death from such a contagious outbreak. Chances are, it probably never crossed your mind that there are those whose job it is to make sure the victims of the disease are properly buried. Not only must the bodies be handled, but a suitable place must also be found to inter them. Few villages want to be chosen for that job.

It is not just the threat of the deadly virus itself, which is still highly contagious in dead bodies. It is also an extremely sensitive issue with locals, for whom a visit from a team in boiler suits and masks is the modern-day equivalent of having an “X” marked on their door during the days of Europe’s Black Death.

To further complicate things, many of those who have fallen to the disease are from cultures whose burial practices require close contact with the corpse. This puts them at great risk for infection. Combine that with inadequate infrastructure across the affected region and you have the recipe for one extremely difficult job.

Liberia is considered the least-equipped of all of the countries affected by the Ebola outbreak, which now also includes Nigeria as well as Guinea and Sierra Leone, and which was on Friday was officially classified as an international health emergency by the World Health Organisation.

Groups such as the Red Cross and the World Health Organization have an extremely difficult job have taken the lead in ensuring that the bodies of the victims are handled in a way that minimizes the chance for the disease to spread and at the same time, honors the needs of the families. salutes the efforts of these organizations and and the brave men and women who have stepped up to take on the challenges associated with the crisis.

Read the full article here: Meet the World’s Bravest Undertakers



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