By Obi Odenigbo
This is not good news at all. According to Yahoo news; Health workers scrambling to contain the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia now have to contend with an outbreak of corruption among those detailed to collect the bodies of victims.
The Wall Street Journal reports that retrieval teams are accepting bribes from families of Ebola victims to issue death certificates that say their loved ones died of other causes, allowing them to keep their bodies for a traditional burial.
“The family says the person is not an Ebola patient, and [the retrieval team] pull them away from the other people,” Vincent Chounse, a community outreach worker on the outskirts of Monrovia, told the paper. “Then they say, ‘We can give you a certificate from the Ministry of Health that it wasn’t Ebola.’ Sometimes it is $40. Sometimes it is $50. … Then they offer bags to them and [the family] carry on their own thing.” A teenager in Montserrado told the Journal he saw the father of his neighbor pay $150 for a certificate that said his son’s corpse was Ebola-free.
Government Information Minister Lewis Brown told the paper his office has received reports of health workers issuing fake death certificates, but he added that no burial team has “a capacity to go and issue certificates.”