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As British Army medics arrive…

Calls for SLP & RSLAF to take over Ebola burials

OCTOBER 20, 2014 By Victoria Saffa

There have been calls from members of the public for the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) and the Republic of the Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) to take over the responsibility of burying victims and non-victims of Ebola.

More than 900 people have died from the deadly virus since May when the first case was reported in a village on the border with Guinea. Specially trained burial teams comprised of civilian volunteers are tasked with burying Ebola corpses in all the 14 districts of the country. Their number though is grossly inadequate and they are most times overwhelmed by the task of burying scores of corpses each day.

Consequently, many people who spoke to Concord Times have called for the intervention of the Police and the Army to be in charge of the burial of corpses across the country.

Mohamed Sesay, a businessman, told Concord Times that government should have thought of drafting the Police and Army to be in charge of all Ebola burials since it declared a public health emergency in August.

In the midst of allegations of bribe taking by burial teams especially in the Western Area, and demonstrations by youth because of delays to pick up corpses, Sesay reckoned that both law enforcement bodies would have provided much needed support to bury the Ebola corpses.

He further noted that the country is at war with an invisible enemy and that the security personnel are underutilized in so far expanding their roles beyond just guarding quarantined homes and escorting Ebola ambulances.

Also, Abibatu Sesay, a civil servant, told this medium that she is very pleased about the arrival of the British Army medics to help the country defeat the outbreak.

She, however, expressed disappointment that none of the Ebola burial team members are police officers or soldiers, thus calling on the government to include the forces in the teams.

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