Ebola outbreak: Sierra Leone workers dump bodies in Kenema

Tuesday, November 25, 2014
By Paul Martin

BBC.com
25 November 2014

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.

The workers have now been sacked for treating the corpses in a “very, very inhumane” way, an official said.

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.

Danger after death

A spokesman for the government’s National Ebola Response Centre, Sidi Yahya Tunis, said the workers had been sacked not for striking, but for indiscipline by treating the corpses in a “very, very inhumane” manner.

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