Secret burials and poor dead body management contribute up to 70% of transmissions of Ebola.
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 as the Ebola crisis continues.
“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,” said Concern’s Director of International Programs, Anne O’Mahony.
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 will be housed in Concern’s offices in Freetown.
“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,” O’Mahony said.
Glasnevin Trust was founded by Daniel O’Connell in 1828 to provide burial pace for people of all religions and no religion. Since the first burial on the 22 February 1832, the Glasnevin Trust has maintained a register of every single burial in the cemetery which pre-dates the civil registration of deaths by three decades. It is the only consistent set of records in the country covering the last 186 years.
Glasnevin, in Dublin, is the last resting place of some 1.5million people. These include some of Ireland’s greatest political leaders and most beloved citizens. All records have been digitized and are available for genealogical research on the Glasnevin website.
Learn more about the collaboration in this video: