The Ahanta West District Assembly has instituted investigations into allegations that people in some communities in the district have resorted to preserving the bodies of their dead family relations at home for long periods before they are buried.
This situation, according to health experts, poses a serious health threat to the people, since those who are engaged to carry out the ‘embalmment’ use formalin, a chemical described by health officials as cancerogenic and highly dangerous to human life.
The people are alleged to have resorted to this action because they cannot afford the mortuary fees.
Consequently, the assembly has tasked its Environmental Subcommittee and the Environmental Health Unit to jointly undertake an urgent health education campaign to sensitise the people to the dangers associated with such a practice.
Mr Joseph Dofoyenah, the District Chief Executive for Ahanta West, who announced this when he delivered his sessional address at the first general meeting of the assembly at Agona Nkwanta, expressed his indignation about the situation and charged the subcommittee and the health unit to expedite action on their assignment.
The District Co-ordinating Director, Alhaji J.M. Hardi, indicated to the Daily Graphic that the assembly had already initiated investigations into the matter in view of the adverse health implications, which could eventually lead to the loss of innocent lives in the various communities, and was yet to come out with its findings.
He said the assembly would apply the law after the sensitisation exercise, since most of the people were unaware of the health hazards involved in the practice.
The Chairman of the Environmental Subcommittee of the assembly, Mr Stephen M. Johnson, also told the Daily Graphic that while the committee was deliberating on environmental issues at one of its sittings, someone hinted members of the committee that the practice had been going on in some communities.
He said the informant alleged that after a family member died, the family of the deceased secretly engaged an ‘‘expert’’ to come over to do the preservation while the family made preparations for the burial and funeral rites.
According to Mr Johnson, the members were informed that that person so entrusted with the job came in secretly every day to observe that all was well with the body, adding that the preservation period could last three days, two weeks or, in some cases, one month, depending on the kind of preparations the family was doing.
Throwing more light on the practice to this reporter, the Senior Environmental Officer of Ahanta West, Mr Felix Senya, explained that it was an offence under Section 289, Act 29, 1960 of the Criminal Code for anyone to engage in such a practice.
Source: Daily Graphic
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|