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Photo Feature: After Ebola, Sierra Leone’s burial workers fear a bleak future

Ebola burial teams in Sierra Leone are still performing hundreds of precautionary burials each week, even though there haven’t been any cases in a few weeks.
(Aurelie Marrier d'Unienville/IRIN)

Ebola may almost be over in Sierra Leone, but an estimated 1,400 people still continue to work as 'safe and dignified' burial team members.

Many have faced stigma for their work: some kicked out of their homes by landlords; others shunned by family and friends afraid of contracting the virus.

In addition to giving the burial workers jobs and monthly hazard pay, aid agencies have been putting some of them up in temporary accommodation.

Now, their future is uncertain. If Ebola goes, the jobs and the perks go too. And due to lingering fears about Ebola, many could struggle to find future employment.

Two burial team members share their stories with IRIN in this photo feature

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We uncovered the sex abuse scandal that rocked the WHO, but there’s more to do

We just covered a report that says the World Health Organization failed to prevent and tackle widespread sexual abuse during the Ebola response in Congo.

Our investigation with the Thomson Reuters Foundation triggered this probe, demonstrating the impact our journalism can have. 

But this won’t be the last case of aid worker sex abuse. This also won’t be the last time the aid sector has to ask itself difficult questions about why justice for victims of sexual abuse and exploitation has been sorely lacking. 

We’re already working on our next investigation, but reporting like this takes months, sometimes years, and can’t be done alone. 

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