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Health Ministry, Births and Deaths trade accusation over Ebola deaths figures

February 10, 2015  By Samuel Ben Turay

Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Jonathan Abass Kamara, has blamed the Births and Deaths Department for failure to get full records of Ebola deaths, almost nine months into the outbreak.

Kamara, speaking to Concord Times yesterday in a snap interview, said: “They [Births and Deaths] should be working with the burial team; it is news to me to hear that Ebola deaths are not registered with their department.”

The official Ebola deaths figure of almost 3,000 is disputed by many, not least those at the Births and Death Department who should record the figures.

But the Health Ministry PRO said the Department of Birth and Deaths has statutorily responsibility to register all births and deaths in the country and should be in a position to get the correct figures the Ebola burial team.

However, Births and Deaths officials, including Deputy Chief Registrar, Richard B. Konie, told Concord Times Health Ministry officials were reticent to give them the correct record of people who have died of Ebola, despite several requests.

 “We have been asking the authorities in-charge of the Ebola burial team but they are yet to give us the data, Konie said and seemed to suggest that they were not given space to be part of the burial team.

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