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Burials in times of Ebola: Do’s and don’ts — issues of acceptability

1) Burials in times of Ebola or Marburg outbreaks have to follow strict biosafety rules to avoid transmission of Ebola/Marburg virus. At the same time, they should be acceptable to families and communities to avoid resistance against disease control. This document deals predominantly with acceptability issues.

2) It is not the purpose of this document to describe and analyse underlying beliefs and cultural practices. It is meant to quickly summarise our experiences from past and current Ebola and Marburg outbreaks in DR Congo, Uganda, Angola and Guinea. More systematic and comparative anthropological work is warranted.

3) Once a minimum of mutual trust has been established, many of the details below should be negotiated between response team, family members and community representatives, allowing for cultural needs without compromising biosafety. Successful negotiations will strengthen and deepen trust and cooperation.

Categories: Burial
Geography: West Africa
Reference: Mari Saez, A. and Borchert, M. “Burials in times of Ebola: Dos and Don’ts - issues of acceptability, Charité –University Medicine, Berlin/Germany.