Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Anambra State Commissioner for Health Dr. Joe Akabuike has said that the state government will in no distant time establish the School of Mortuary Services in one of the Schools of Health Technology in the state where mortuary attendants will obtain formal training in proper handling of corpses to avoid spread of contagious diseases.
The commissioner disclosed this at the weekend in Awka while speaking on preventive measures for the control of diseases especially in the dry season where he said diarrhoea infections were airborne.
Akabuike said that the state was one of the states in Africa to institutionalize Mortician Association of Anambra state, stressing that government had to institutionalize the services of morticians as an escape route from diseases that could emanate from the way corpses were handled.
According to him, some of the mortuary attendants do not have formal training which was the remote reason why government had to standardize it and started training and equipping them with universal precautions in handling dead bodies.
The commissioner also pointed out that no one has the right to bury anybody without certification from a medical doctor as only the medical practitioner can certify that somebody is dead pointing out that cases abound where some people were said to have died but on getting to the mortuary they rose from the dead.
He said mortuary attendants in Anambra state were henceforth trained to have respect for the dead. He noted that formerly those who worked in the mortuary jam-packed dead bodies like dryfish which he apparently frowned upon noting that even the Bible tasked the living to respect the dead.
On the outbreak of yellow fever in some parts of the country, the commissioner said that the state had reported case of yellow fever in Awka-North local government area but due to rapid response, the victim was treated and fully recovered from the ailment.
Akabuike also disclosed that the state government has approved the surveillance of the aforestated disease to seive out any of such cases within Anambra state stressing that every yellowness of the eyes must be confirmed to forestall reoccurrence of the disease.
According to him, Disease Surveillance Officers were in all the 21 local government areas of the state for early detection and prevention of diseases stressing that simple personal and environmental hygiene can be observed to avoid diseases inimical to human health .