ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Ebola, Cultural Practices and Burial Dilemma

Updated on November 7, 2014

Ebola Burial and Cultural Erosion

It is said that adults are but big children and will ultimately weasel their ways around authority and protocol or instruction, once the opportunity presents itself. But when we have a deadly disease such as Ebola on the loose; and people reportedly paying to keep their dead or hiding their sick in a bid to keep the body if they die, we are indeed in trouble.

A Long Way To Go In The Fight Against Ebola

The numbers are continuing to rise although by some stroke of luck and obvious camaraderie, Nigeria has successfully fought the Ebola virus. There is yet nothing to celebrate as America’s numbers continue to climb, albeit few and far between in comparison to the likes of countries in West African countries such as Liberia and Sierra Leone which are to date among the hardest hit.

Compounding The Problem

It is Liberia and Sierra Leone which are the points of my contention today. As I helplessly watch the news each day, I wonder what each layman can do to ward off this dreaded disease and what these poor frightened people are doing which might be compounding the problem.

I am led to pictures of health workers going door to door in a bid to find hidden Ebola victims and signs of caution as well as countless deaths in the streets. One can’t help but wonder when pictures of the dead being buried emerge. Why are they not cremating these people? If you dig deeper (no pun intended), you will be led to cultural practices among other explanations.

From Rich Burial Culture To Unmarked Graves

The people of Liberia; like other West African countries and their descendants have a bond with their dead and cultural practices which make them want to keep their dead. But this is not a walk in the park and should by NO means be the decision of a few, especially as the welfare and survival of nations hang in the balance!

With solutions in mind, there is also great concern for the loved ones of a burial culture-rich people who are now being told that their loved ones who are normally washed and dressed after death and honoured at the gravesides or cemeteries on New Years’ Day, will be buried in UNMARKED graves! This really does seem like a bit much!

A Safe Alternative Is Needed

Why can’t the bodies be burnt (though not culturally supported either) then returned for burial at home or/and receive known burial spots or cemeteries where families can return to honour them, as is customary? If we are to fight this disease, there must be a (safe) half-way meeting point so that people will be willing to comply!

My other point of contention is with regards to medical practitioners and health workers who are increasingly being placed at risk of infection each day, even as they wear protective gears and don disinfectant canisters.

Can't Survivors Help In The Fight?

What is being done by the workers in the streets doesn’t need a medical degree; AND those who beat the disease are now said to be immune to it! Why then are the survivors not being asked to help in the fight against the virus? It only makes sense if they really are immune!

Should the survivors be used to help in the fight, less health workers will be at risk; likewise, houses can be searched more safely by survivors while needed health workers attend to their other job functions. Of course I am by no means a health professional and could be wrong, but that’s my perspective as we try to keep this disease off our shores.

Preventative Measures

In the meantime, now is as good a time as any to practice proper preventative measures even as we hope the Ebola virus stays away and that it is soon eliminated in West Africa and other affected countries.

  • Avoid handshakes and hugs as forms of greeting strangers: yes it sounds drastic, but prevention beats cure
  • Keep hand sanitizers handy and wash hands often, preferably from the elbow as doctors do
  • Avoid unnecessary travelling; especially to affected countries

Like I said before, I am no health expert, but we all need to play our part in the fight against this Ebola madness, even as other incidences of the disease are being reported in other cuntries.

Many of us prefer the idea of a memorial spot or cemetery to visit and feel close to our departed loved ones
Many of us prefer the idea of a memorial spot or cemetery to visit and feel close to our departed loved ones | Source

Would You Be Comfortable With Your Loved One Being Buried In An Unmarked Grave?

See results
Aid arriving in Sierra Leone to fight Ebola
Aid arriving in Sierra Leone to fight Ebola | Source


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)