Concern Worldwide wins award at inaugural EU Health Awards for Ebola response

Concern Worldwide wins award at inaugural EU Health Awards for Ebola response

12 October 2015

Concern Worldwide is delighted to announce that its safe burials programme in Ebola-hit Sierra Leone has today won second place at the inaugural EU Health Award at a ceremony in Luxembourg.

The EU Health Award was awarded to three non-governmental bodies (NGOs) that “distinguished themselves through their efforts and commitments during the Ebola emergency” and have “carried out high quality and effective initiatives”.

For second place, Concern wins €15,000 while the first place winner (French NGO, ALIMA) won €20,000, and third place (Red Cross Spain) wins €10,000.

Last October, Concern – which was already operational in Sierra Leone since the 1990s – was asked by the National Ebola Response Centre in the country to take over management of medical burials of all dead bodies in the Western Area District of the country, which includes the capital Freetown.

This was previously unchartered territory for the organisation and yet, three days after the request, Concern was already operational with over 70 graves dug.

The agency also entered into a unique and innovative partnership with the Glasnevin Trust for use of its proprietary Cemetery Records Management System to manage burial records and grave locations, enabling grieving families to visit the final resting places of their loved ones and find closure.

Austin Kennan, Regional Director with the agency said:

First and foremost, it is also a huge tribute to our teams on the ground that not only have they helped prevent the spread of Ebola, but not one member of our burials teams was infected. This is also an Irish success story and it is wonderful for Concern’s swift and effective response to the Ebola crisis to be recognised with this award. Furthermore, the partnership with Glasnevin Trust proved transformational in terms of local public support, as it preserved the dignity of the deceased and respected their relatives.

To date, Concern’s dedicated teams have conducted over 16,500 dignified burials which have also helped to prevent the further spread of Ebola through previously unsafe burial practices. Secret and unsound burials management had up until then contributed to almost 80% of Ebola transmissions.

At the peak of the Ebola outbreak, Concern’s burials teams were burying an average of 450 bodies per week.

 

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Concern Worldwide wins award at inaugural EU Health Awards for Ebola response

Concern Worldwide is delighted to announce that its safe burials programme in Ebola-hit Sierra Leone has today won second place at the inaugural EU Health Award at a ceremony in Luxembourg.
  • Concern worldwide wins award at inaugural eu health award for ebola response