The Ondo State House of Assembly on Tuesday passed into law a bill to provide for disposal of unclaimed corpses in the state hospitals through cremation.
The bill, which had passed through the third reading, was unanimously adopted by the members of the house during a plenary in Akure.
The bill was sent to the assembly by Gov.Olusegun Mimiko on Sept.1.
It was meant to provide for disposal of bodies by cremation and for other matters connected therewith with a view to preventing outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in the state.
The Speaker of the house, Mrs Jumoke Akindele, said that passage of the bill was a response to the issue of Ebola disease ravaging the sub Sahara region.
Akindele said it was on record that “the best way to prevent the spread of the deadly disease is to ensure the bodies of affected victims are properly disposed of”.
“The best way to prevent the body of victims who have been affected by Ebola is by cremation.
“Ebola virus is a very stubborn one which needs total eradication in the society. As the elders say, prevention is better than cure,” she noted.
She added that people or family could still elect to be cremated after the Ebola crisis might have gone, saying it was part of everyone’s rights.
Mr Oleyelogun Bamidele, representing Chairman House Committee on Health, said that no crematorium would be established or constructed without the necessary approval from relevant government authorities.
” Where there are unclaimed bodies in any of the state-owned hospitals for two years or above, the health commissioner shall, upon receipt of information from the director of hospital, publish such information in one state and one national newspaper.
“A notice of intention to cremate such unclaimed bodies shall be given and upon the expiration of 90 days from the publication of the notice, the commissioner shall direct that all such unclaimed bodies be cremated.
“The commissioner shall make regulations as to the burning of bodies, specification, maintenance and inspection of crematorium,” he said.
According to the lawmaker, any violation of such regulation shall be punished. [NAN]