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Sierra Leone Ebola workers dump bodies in Kenema

from BBC
Workers now collecting  some of the leftover bodies in the streets
Workers now collecting some of the leftover bodies in the streets

Burial workers in the Sierra Leonean city of Kenema have dumped bodies in public in protest at non-payment of allowances for handling Ebola victims.

The workers, who went on strike over the issue, left 15 bodies abandoned at the city's main hospital.

One of the bodies was reportedly left by the hospital manager's office and two others by the hospital entrance.
A BBC reporter in Sierra Leone says the striking workers have now been sacked. The hospital has not commented.

Sierra Leone is one of the countries worst affected by this year's Ebola outbreak, with more than 1,200 deaths.

Kenema is the third largest city in Sierra Leone and the biggest in the east, where the Ebola outbreak first emerged in the country. The burial workers told a BBC reporter they had not been paid agreed extra risk allowances for October and November.

The BBC's Umaru Fofana in Freetown says the bodies have now been taken away but the workers had refused to end their strike. There has been no public comment by the hospital's management or the Sierra Leonean health ministry.
Danger after death.

The burial workers' industrial action came two weeks after health workers went on strike for similar reasons at a clinic near Bo - the only facility in southern Sierra Leone treating Ebola victims.

Ebola has killed more than 5,000 people in West Africa this year, mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak a global health emergency.

People are infected when they have direct contact through broken skin, or the mouth and nose, with the blood, vomit, faeces or bodily fluids of someone with Ebola.
The virus can be present in urine and semen too.

Infection may also occur through direct contact with contaminated bedding, clothing and surfaces - but only through broken skin.

The virus is still dangerous and present in the body after death. Burial workers are at risk of infection and commonly wear protective clothing and take other precautions.

Health professionals say those who have died from Ebola should be buried promptly to lessen the risks of infection spreading.
 

 


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