State scales down burial protocols to tame stigma
Strict burial rites for coronavirus fatalities may be scaled down to minimise stigma for affected families.
Director of Public Health, Dr Francis Kuria said yesterday the burial protocols have been revised after it emerged that once the patient has passed on it is actually no longer as infective.
He said that going forward, bodies may be released to families as opposed to the current situation where the ministry’s officials clad in hazmat suits bury such bodies.
“The issue of burial that obey cultural and religious norms has been a concern and raised to the Ministry repeatedly and we have finalised revised protocols to guide us in conducting burials going forward this will be addressed in the course of the week,” said Kuria who spoke from Afya House during the update on the status of coronavirus in the country.
“As we role out the protocols and we hope that since we know that once the patient has passed on, it is actually no longer as infective and as long as you do not get into contact with fluids the infectivity may not be that high,” he added
There has been a public outcry over the manner in which burials for coronavirus fatalities have been conducted, with Kenyans saying is has caused stigma.
Kuria explained that the measures will be more towards coming into contact with fluids, guidelines regarding the packaging and how to handle the body thereafter.
He was optimistic that the revised protocols will address the concerns of stigma that has affected Kenyans.
“We have seen others requesting that they be excused the men who come in white and we hope that as we roll out the protocols, we will visit some of those issues and probably we will not see those men in white again,” Kuria said.