Emergencies preparedness, response

Safe and dignified burials

Infection of the Ebola virus can occur from touching the bodies of those who have died from Ebola virus disease (EVD) as is the traditional practice in the affected countries.

In Hill station, a district in Freetown, neighbours and family praying over body of man who died of Ebola in community.
In Hill station, a district in Freetown, neighbours and family praying over body of man who died of Ebola in community.
WHO/N Alexander

To prevent spread of EVD, handling of dead bodies should be kept to a minimum and burial should be done by teams who are trained to safely bury the body.

During this emotional time, traditional burial rituals and practices may need to be modified so that family members can say goodbye to their loved ones without becoming exposed to EVD. Providing the opportunity for a safe yet dignified burial is an opportunity to respect cultures and traditions and provides comfort to those left behind.

On this page, you will find guidelines on how to conduct safe and dignified burials of patients who have died of EVD.


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