Anti-Ebola effort targets burials
The radio announcement is chilling and blunt: "If I die . . . I want to give my family the permission to request a safe and dignified, medical burial."
The announcement is part of a campaign to urge Sierra Leoneans to abandon traditional burial practices, such as touching or washing the dead, that are fueling the spread of Ebola. The disease has killed more than 2,000 people in Sierra Leone and unsafe burials may be responsible for up to 70 percent of new infections, experts say. The head of the Ebola response has even threatened to jail those who prepare loved ones' corpses.
Desmond Williams, a Sierra Leonean American doctor who works for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, took to the airwaves last month with the burial message. Now similar pledges have been made by prominent Sierra Leoneans. - AP
Minister of Health Florence Duperval Guillaume has been designated interim prime minister to replace Laurent Lamothe, who resigned a week ago Saturday. Guillaume's designation was announced in an e-mail signed by Enex Jean-Charles, the secretary of the council of ministers, that was circulated among cabinet members Saturday and Sunday. Jean-Charles confirmed the news to the Herald. - AP