PILED UP MORGUES

Kenyans given seven days to collect 164 unclaimed bodies at City Mortuary

Between 2003 and 2006, the City Mortuary disposed of 2,500 unclaimed bodies.

In Summary

•The morgue has set aide a specific place in the freezers for the unclaimed bodies, as they cannot be mixed with bodies that have been paid for.

•Last month, it was revealed that negligence by police and unwilling family members have been faulted for the high number of unclaimed bodies at the City Mortuary .

Nairobi City Mortuary
NOTICE: Nairobi City Mortuary
Image: COURTESY

The Nairobi county has given Kenyans seven days to collect 164 unclaimed bodies currently lying at the city mortuary.

In a notice on Tuesday, deputy director general Fredrick Oluga said Kenyans should identify and collect them.  

''... failure to which they will be interred by the Nairobi Metropolitan Service,'' Oluga said. City mortuary has a capacity to hold only 176 bodies.

In the notice, 115 of the bodies are from March to May 2021, while 49 were from the last two months of 2020.

According to the Public Health Act Cap 242 of the, an unclaimed body should be removed from a mortuary within two weeks or else it is disposed of in a mass grave after public officers obtain a court’s permission.

Causes of death raged from mob justice, accidents, arson , drowning , murder, shooting , electrocution, fire , suicide , sudden and natural deaths.

The morgue has set aide a specific place in the freezers for the unclaimed bodies, as they cannot be mixed with bodies that have been paid for.

Last month, it was revealed that negligence by police and unwilling family members have been faulted for the high number of unclaimed bodies at the City Mortuary .

Police were accused of failing to follow up and bring in reports of the deceased to the morgue after the bodies are admitted.

Public health officials have expressed concern over the increasing number of unclaimed bodies 

Between 2003 and 2006, the City Mortuary disposed of 2,500 unclaimed bodies. The number for KNH was 3,000.

In 2006 Kenya's two main public mortuaries (City Mortuary and Kenyatta National Hospital mortuary) lost millions in uncollected revenue from unclaimed bodies.

Edited by N. Agutu