News / Africa

    Liberia Tries to Ease Ebola Burial Logjam

    FILE - Health workers carry the body of an Ebola virus victim in Kenema, Sierra Leone.
    FILE - Health workers carry the body of an Ebola virus victim in Kenema, Sierra Leone.
    James Butty

    Liberian officials say they are working hard to correct problems resulting in a backlog of the collection and burial of Ebola-related bodies.

    Some local media reports say an overwhelmed healthcare system has led to bodies being dumped in some communities and left unburied for days.  

    One report said as many as 37 bodies were found Sunday in one of the boroughs of the capital, Monrovia. The situation has reportedly led to protests in some communities.

    Liberia’s Information Minister, Lewis Brown, said President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has ordered cremation of Ebola-related bodies to ease the logjam.

    “We’re pleased that people are beginning to follow the directives of the government not to bury their own.  What we’re getting is resistance, even from the communities in which they resided. And, therefore, it has caused a backlog and slow pace at which retrieval teams have been in action,” he said.

    Part of the reason for the resistance, according one account, is that residents fear the bodies could contaminate the local drinking water.

    Brown said Sirleaf has ordered the cremation of Ebola-infected bodies to relieve the burial bottleneck. He said that although cremation is foreign to Liberian culture, it is necessary as the government tries to contain the deadly virus.

    He also said the government has established a community outreach taskforce to inform communities about the Ebola disease and how they can protect themselves.

    Brown also said the government has begun to address the logjam on Ebola hotlines.

    “They had hotlines from at least two of the major GSM service providers. On Sunday, we entered into additional arrangement to increase each number to be able to accommodate an additional 30 lines,” Brown said.

    Brown said his government continues to appeal for help from the international community because it fears the situation could get worse before it gets better.

    The World Bank announced Monday it is providing $200 million to help fight the Ebola outbreak. The WHO last week announced a $100 million emergency plan in conjunction with the three affected countries, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Rose brown from: America
    August 16, 2014 1:48 AM
    And pls try hard to get ebola out of our country it killing people. Not even ebola but when u are sick nobody wants to touch u because they are afair of ebola u guys raedy need to try hard to make liberia a better place to live

    by: Rose brown from: America
    August 16, 2014 1:42 AM
    Why when ebola came first to liberia the president did not do any thing. Why because it was not serious it was not killing people now some people are stuck in difference country they can not go back home or to they family or go to school.Do u want for people to change school so they can not learn anything to be like u to miss use power like u.

    by: eusebio manuel vestias from: Portugal
    August 06, 2014 10:45 AM
    rights rights and duties save the small communities Liberian

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora