NGOs will now pay Ebola burial teams


...says NERC Coordinator

NOVEMBER 6, 2014 By Josephine A. Seppeh

National Coordinator of the National Emergency Response Centre (NERC) has revealed that non-governmental organisations, including the Catholic Relief Service, CARE, World Vision and Save the Children, will henceforth be responsible for paying hazard allowance to members of the Ebola burial teams.

Steven Gaojia said there have been lots of challenges and delays in the payment of weekly hazard allowances to health workers and auxiliary staff at the forefront of the Ebola fight.

Members of the Ebola burial teams in the Western Area in particular have downed stools few weeks ago in protest against delays in the payment of their weekly allowance.

Mr. Gaojia noted that corpses have been abandoned and allowed to rot before they could be collected, which he said is part of reasons the Ebola viral disease has spread to every nook and cranny of the country.

“70% of people who contract the Ebola virus are from corpses, but if they are buried within 24 hours, then the virus will be quickly contained,” he said.

He debunked rumours that the government is solely responsible for burials without the involvement of bereaved family members, adding that 10 family members, a Pastor or Imam, are allowed to be present at burials, although they should be standing at a distance.

The NERC coordinator further noted that it is the responsibility of everyone to cooperate with the government by reporting Ebola cases and corpses, so that they can be collected within 24 hours to prevent people coming in contact with them.

He assured that government would do everything in its powers to eradicate the Ebola disease in the country, noting that the outbreak has brought economic activities in the country to a halt.