Nigerian Government has inaugurated a committee for the production of policy document on Management of Human Remains in Disaster Situations.
Mrs Boade Akinola, the Director, Media and Public Relations, made this known in a statement in Abuja.
She stated that the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr Abdulaziz Mashi, inaugurated the committee.
Mashi said the committee was to harness all available resources toward ensuring concise document for smooth implementation of the policy for the management of human remains in emergency and disaster situations in the country.
The Director of Department of Hospital Services in the ministry, Dr Joseph Amedu, represented the permanent secretary at the inauguration.
He said that the greatest respect owed the dead was a befitting burial, appropriate preservation when necessary, identification of cause and pattern of death for forensic evidence.
He added that the identification of cause and pattern of death was to enable preventive intervention to forestall such deaths.
Mashi said that the management of the dead in mass casualty required preservation of the dignity of the deceased as they could not speak to demand justice for themselves.
He, therefore, noted that it was imperative that bodies and body parts were treated with respect and accorded dignity at all times.
He added that the management of body and body parts in cases of mass casualty could be daunting, as emphasis were often directed to the living, while the dead was neglected.
The permanent secretary said that the committee would, among others, work out modalities for policy that would regulate and implement Forensic Laboratory Services in Nigeria; bring together a coordinated approach for stakeholders on Management of Human Remains in Nigeria.
He added that the committee would come up with a policy that would serve as National Policy Guide for the management of Human Remains and Forensic services draft policy document.
He added that the draft policy document would be submitted to the Minister of Health for approval and further recommendation to the National Council on Health.
Mashi commended the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) for efforts toward providing technical and financial support and ensuring that the project came to reality.
Dr Elif Eskikoy, a Forensic Specialist, International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), pledged continuous collaboration and Technical Support toward improving management of Human Remains in the country.