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Social Tension Surrounding Burial Practices and Ebola Transmission in West Africa Essay Example

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Social Tension Surrounding Burial Practices and Ebola Transmission in West Africa

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Consequently, they suffer stigma and discrimination (Onishi 1). Evidence has proven that survivors of Ebola are immune to the particular virus strain they had. In addition, these people develop resistant antibodies in their blood, which could be useful to other patients. The Zaire strain of the virus is still considered the deadliest among the identified five strains.It is also believed that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa could last forever. The WHO has noted that the disease could attain permanent status in the region if it is not contained in these early stages. Despite the 2014 outbreak being the worst ever recorded, historical occurrences show that the disease can end if properly handled. The Senegal situation where the victim recovered after rapid care is enough proof that the disease can be contained. Nigeria could soon be declared free of Ebola according to the WHO. However, West African countries are still vulnerable to the disease because they are in close proximity. Eradication in one country could be overturned by pilferages from neighboring countries.The mix of logistical issues, inadequate infrastructure, conflicts with healthcare providers, and burial traditions has caused great difficulty in preventing the spread of Ebola among the people taking care of the dead and the mourners. The World Health Organization issued clear guidelines on the mode of transportation and burial of Ebola victims. Among the guidelines were the awareness of the cultural practices and religious beliefs of the family of the victim. Transporters and burial teams have to make the family members understand that they are not entitled to the exercise of some of the beliefs and practices because of the risk of infection.A number of traditional practices have been identified as posing serious threats of infection and, therefore, cannot be followed when an Ebola victim is involved. These include religious rituals that call for physical and direct contact with the victim’s body and burial preparations led by the family. In the Muslim tradition, for instance, the family members are required to wash the victim’s body themselves before burial can take place (Cooper 1). The tradition does not favor preparation of the body in the mortuary.Religious rules are quite strict on who can handle the body of a dead person and the manner of doing this. However, must of

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