Ebola burials in Sierra Leone

Afbeelding 213

Concern Worldwide partners with Glasnevin Trust for Ebola burials in Sierra Leone

A “unique relationship” between Irish aid agency, Concern, and largest provider of funeral services in Ireland, Glasnevin Trust, for records management in Ebola victims’ cemeteries

Concern Worldwide, Ireland’s largest humanitarian organisation, has entered into an agreement with the Glasnevin Trust for assistance in burial records management in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, where the agency has been responding to the Ebola crisis in the country.
Concern requested assistance from the Trust for use of its proprietary Cemetery Records Management System (CRMS) to manage burial records and grave locations. The technology itself will be housed in Concern’s offices in Freetown.

Secret burials and poor dead body management contribute up to 70% of transmissions of Ebola, with local public support low for unmarked graves.

As a result, Concern recently took over the management of two cemeteries in the Freetown area from the Ministry of Health and has been training and managing two 12-person burial teams, who have been burying up to 85 bodies per day.
“We are delighted to partner with Glasnevin Trust in what is a unique relationship between an Irish aid agency and the largest provider of funeral services in Ireland,” said Concern’s Director of International Programmes, Anne O’Mahony.

“When we took over management of the two cemeteries, we decided the best way to secure local support was to ensure that records were kept and graves clearly identifiable, and so we approached Glasnevin Trust, who have considerable expertise in this area.”

“The partnership has already proven transformational in terms of public support as it preserves the dignity of the deceased and respects the relatives, with whom communications have been hugely improved. Most importantly, we have already seen a significant drop in the number of secret burials, which are a huge risk to public health.”

Mervyn Colville (Deputy CEO) of the Glasnevin Trust added: “We have developed the first multi-functional management system for use in cemeteries and crematoria. Our Cemetery Records Management System (CRMS) facilitates the arranging of burials using both online and internal burial records management. The CRMS ensures the accuracy of all burial and grave location records and each record contains detailed information on the deceased including name, address, cause of death, date of death, grave location details, and much more. Crucially, the technology is transferable and this is why we are in a position to assist Concern in their hugely important work on the ground in Sierra Leone. Glasnevin Trust was established to bury those of all religions and none with dignity and respect, and by offering our assistance to Concern we are continuing to fulfil our mission”.


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