Don’t violate cultural sensitivities

A bizarre incident happened on the night of 12th April 2020 in Ugenya, Siaya County. James Oyugi Onyango, who had succumbed to COVID-19 was hurriedly buried at night without a coffin by Health officials and without any consultation of his relatives. All in the name of upholding higher precautions for the best interest of Kenyans. This has raised a host of questions in the country and beyond. 

At the time when COVID-19 continues to cause untold suffering to humanity, should human dignity and respect for the dead be undermined under the guise of public health? Dr. Odote argues that inasmuch as being sensitive to cultural prerequisites cannot be guaranteed during this pandemic, total disregard is also not permissible. Government must realize that Kenyans who lose loved ones are suffering. They need a shoulder to cry on. That shoulder cannot be one that mistreats the body of their loved one. 

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