Protecting the Living, Honouring the Dead: The barriers and enablers to community acceptance and implementation of safe burials

The purpose of this study is to assess the barriers and enablers to community acceptance and implementation of safe burials in Sierra Leone. The Ebola virus continued to spread in Sierra Leone partly because communities were initially resistant to Burial Teams carrying out safe, medical burials. This changed towards the end of 2014 when revised burial procedures were published and renamed the Safe and Dignified Burial Protocol. Confrontations with communities decreased and more requests by communities for the Burial Teams were noted.

The SMART Consortium, consisting of Catholic Relief Service (CRS), Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) and World Vision as the lead, took over the responsibility for burials in 10 districts across Sierra Leone in November 2014. The Consortium initiated this study to analyse the contribution made by the revised procedures to increased community acceptance of Safe Burials and if there were other factors at play. The results of this study are expected to be used by national and international stakeholders to better respond to future epidemics in Sierra Leone and elsewhere.

Published 2019-01-09