The Ebola epidemic in Liberia and managing the dead-A future role for Humanitarian Forensic Action?

Stephen Cordner, Heinrich Bouwer, Morris Tidball-Binz

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3 Citations (Scopus)


With some of their economies, communities and health systems weakened by decades of war and poor governance, it was no accident that an epidemic of Ebola virus disease broke out in west Africa. Being spread in part by contact with body fluids of those who had died from the disease, funerary rites and the way dead bodies were managed were important modes of transmission. The Liberian Red Cross, supported by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross, undertook the challenging task of managing the dead bodies in Monrovia during the epidemic. The work was undertaken by volunteers, not health care workers, who were trained and equipped for this task. The authors observed their work and were impressed. Valuable lessons were learned for mortuaries generally, and for Humanitarian Forensic Action involving the management of highly infectious human remains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-309
Number of pages8
JournalForensic Science International
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


  • Ebola virus disease
  • Humanitarian Forensic Action
  • Managing the dead
  • West Africa

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