Assistant Health Minister for Preventive Services, Tolbert Nyenswah
“Don’t Pay A Dime To Remove Dead Bodies”—Health Ministry
By Wilfred Gortor
MONROVIA, September 21 (LINA) - Assistant Health Minister for Preventive Services, Tolbert Nyenswah, has advised that “no one should pay a single dime” to burial teams to remove dead bodies from their communities as being reported.
He said everyone working with the burial team is paid to work and as such it is not the responsibility of community dwellers to give them money before they remove bodies.
Speaking Friday at the Ministry of Information Special press conference in Monrovia, Nyenswah warned those engaged in such “unwholesome behavior” to desist as their action undermines efforts by government to eradicate Ebola.
He observed that many are aggrieved over the loss of their relatives and friends and should be given the courage to help stop the transmission of the virus, but not to worsen their pains by asking for payment before removing dead people from the communities.
Meanwhile, Nyenswah has called on all Liberians to cooperate with Ebola burial teams as they perform their duties.
He said burial teams are still encountering pockets of resistance from some communities where relatives of people suspected to have died from Ebola demand to know the cause of death of their relatives before the body is removed.
Nyenswah said this act poses a serious threat to the lives of others living in the community as dead bodies are highly contagious and need to be extracted from communities with urgency.
He said to provide confirmation as to whether a person died of the virus cannot be done while the body is being removed, but can only be done if specimens are forwarded for laboratory testing and confirmation.
Nyenswah said depending on the samples taken at ETU, a total of 300 to 500 tests are administered on a daily basis, stating “not all samples are proven positive, at least 40 percent are negative cases.”