Pakistan: First responders from 17 countries learn about the proper management of dead bodies

16 May 2017

Islamabad (ICRC) – Handling the dead with respect and dignity through international best practices and highlighting the importance of accurate identifications in emergency situations is the theme of a 5 day course conducted by the ICRC in Islamabad.

"Pakistan is pleased to host the course on the Management of the Dead in Emergencies that benefits all stakeholders in all countries. The ICRC's national and international courses provide important instruction on best practices on managing the dead and assisting their families in times of emergency," said Lt. Gen. Mumtaz Sukhera, the country's Surgeon General.

The course will gather emergency responders from disaster management, military, law enforcement agencies, hospitals, forensic institutes and non-governmental organizations from countries including Burundi, China, Indonesia, Lebanon, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, Ukraine and Vietnam.

Emergency responders worldwide often deal with consequences of complex emergencies involving high numbers of deaths. The course offers them an opportunity to share their experiences and acquire new skills to improve managing the dead.

"As a result of emergencies, families and communities all over the world have an overwhelming desire to know the fate of their loved ones and to identify and mourn their dead," said Cheryl Katzmarzyk, ICRC's forensic coordinator in Islamabad. "Careful, ethical and comprehensive management of dead bodies is therefore a critical component of any emergency response."

The Islamabad course marks the 2nd international course conducted in Pakistan by the ICRC to build capacities in the management of the dead. The ICRC aims to assist government authorities and other organizations to develop policies and coordinated procedures in emergency and disaster situations to ensure respectful and efficient management of the dead.

The final day of the course provides participants an opportunity to engage in a simulated mass casualty exercise and act out best practices while working together to ensure that the dead are recovered properly, transported and stored with dignity, undergo detailed examination by specialists and returned to their families in a timely and sensitive manner.

For more information, please contact:

Najum ul Saqib, ICRC Islamabad, tel. +92 300 852 91 08