Nigeria’s Consul-General in Johannesburg, Ambassador Uche Ajulu-Okeke, has warned Nigerians back home to be cautious while handling bodies of their loved ones brought in from South Africa. Ajulu-Okeke gave the charge following the increasing number of deaths from Tuberculosis and HIV related diseases in South Africa. She gave the warning while speaking to a body of Nigerian professionals who were in her office on a visit.
She said that her worry is stemmed from the fact that the Nigerians are predisposed to touching the bodies of their loved ones during the funeral rites.
“I am telling the Federal government, any Nigerian that dies here, bury him because all of them are coming home with TB and HIV and our people do not have the capacity to deal with it”she said
Also speaking, the Secretary-General of the Nigerian Medical Forum in South Africa, Dr. Emeka Ugwu, said
“I am in the know that in South Africa one of the leading causes of death is tuberculosis and HIV/Aids. So it will not be far-fetched to deduce from this that some Nigerians who are dying here may also have that statistics. Care needs to be taken from the health perspective, any dead body or any of such things could have serious health implication on the community and it could be transferred from one person to the other. If a dead body moves from here to Nigeria, it needs to be properly handled according to stipulated World Health Organisation objectives.”he said