Double Graves May Be Needed to Accommodate AIDS Deaths in Zimbabwe
The city council of Harare, Zimbabwe, is promoting the idea of double burials -- burying one person on top of another -- in an effort to save space in graveyards that are quickly filling with people who have died of AIDS-related illnesses, Reuters Health reports. But Zimbabwe's black majority is opposed to double burials, and many families are refusing the council's current preferred practice of digging deeper graves to later accomodate a second body, calling it "not respectful of the dead." Harare city curator of graves Eladinos Zimbwa told the Sunday Mail that double burials are necessary as space for individual graves is limited, but said, "Because of black people's cultural beliefs, it has been very difficult to convince them that is a better way of saving space." The Zimbabwe government estimates that at least 2,000 people die of AIDS-related illnesses every week (Reuters Health, 7/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.