The Executive Committee of the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) CRIB PROJECT has urged the citizenry to cooperate with health authorities and the various Assemblies to ensure persons who die of Covid-19 are safely buried.
It said most cultural practices, regarding the handling of bodies of deceased persons, required that they were bathed, dressed, touched and laid in a state to give them befitting burials.
The Covid-19 Response and Institutional Capacity Building (CRIB) Project is a two-year project by the CHAG funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and UKAID.
Dr Eric Gyamfi, a Public Health Physician Specialist, on behalf of the Committee, in a report on the Covid-19 pandemic in the Kpando Municipality copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), disclosed that the cultural practices were found to promote the spread of the virus.
The report noted that the health professionals quest to prevent the spread of the virus as against community members’ need to provide befitting burial to the deceased had created deep tension, especially between families of persons who died of the disease.
It noted that health authorities and Municipal and District Assemblies were mandated by law to ensure that all persons who died of the disease were safely buried by a trained burial team headed by an Environmental Health Officer.
The report said the adherence to the protocols on the burial of casualties was an important way of preventing the spread of the virus and protecting community members from the pandemic.
It said there was the need for community members to be assured that the burial team had been trained to ensure a safe and dignified burial.
The report called on health authorities and Assemblies to ensure that the burial team was well-resourced and motivated to perform the duty.
It underscored the importance for the burial team to engage families of deceased Covid-19 patients to address any concerns that families might have regarding the burial of their deceased family member before the burial.
It said the guideline on the burial of Covid-19 deaths by professionally trained health workers was based on the fact that the bodies of persons who died of the disease were considered infectious.
“This means that the virus remains active even after an infected person dies and can continue to spread if the bodies of those who die of Covid-19 are not properly handled.”
The report further urged all citizens to get vaccinated since there were Covid-19 vaccines available to the general population.
CHAG is represented in the Kpando Municipality by the Margret Marquart Catholic Hospital, working with the Kpando Municipal Health Directorate and the Municipal Assembly to achieve set targets.