A district superintendent in Liberia died of complications due to hypertension, but because he died at an Ebola center there is little chance his body will be released for burial.
The Rev. Morris Jarkloh, district superintendent of the Sinoe District, United Methodist Liberia Annual (regional) Conference, died at the MSF/ELWA Hospital in Monrovia Sept. 5.
The hospital, an Ebola center, was the only facility that could admit him, according to his family. Even though Jarkloh did not have Ebola, his body was placed among patients who had died of Ebola and is believed to be contaminated.
The Rev. Samuel Quire, who was with the family, said there is little chance the government will allow his body to be released to his family for burial at his church.
Bishop John Innis, episcopal leader of Liberia, praised Jarkloh’s commitment to the church.
“The Rev. Morris Jarkloh was one of our finest district superintendents who worked sacrificially to makes disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. He was committed and devoted to his responsibilities. He was a man of Christ to the people and we will miss him on the cabinet for respecting his calling.”
Thousands of new Ebola cases are expected in the next three weeks in Liberia, the World Health Organization reported Sept. 8.
At least 2,100 have died from Ebola in the West African states of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria since the first case in May. Of those, 1,089 have been in Liberia.
The BBC reported that Liberia’s Montserrado County only had 240 hospital beds available for 1,000 Ebola patients.
“When patients are turned away … they have no choice but to return to their communities and homes, where they inevitably infect others,” the World Health Organization said.
Ebola is spread by direct contact with infected blood, body fluids or organs or indirect contact with contaminated environments. Ebola can be spread through the handling of dead bodies in preparation for burial.
This story was based on information provided by Tafadzwa W. Mudambanuki, central conference content coordinator for United Methodist Communications, and Julu Swen, a communicator in Liberia.
News media contact: Kathy Gilbert, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or [email protected].