The Nairobi county government has disposed of 97 unclaimed bodies at the Mbagathi Hospital after obtaining a court order.
The county had raised concerns over the high number of bodies lying in the hospital’s morgue since 2017.
The court order was issued on October 16, 2019 by chief magistrate R. Oganyo of the city court.
“Upon hearing the application for disposal of 97 unclaimed bodies presented before me by the counsel for the applicant, it is hereby ordered that the application to dispose the attached list of 97 bodies is granted,” the order reads.
The unclaimed bodies of 56 males and 41 females had been uncollected since April 2017. They were buried in a mass grave at Lang’ata cemetery.
The Public Health Act recommends that a body should be removed from a mortuary within two weeks and thereafter be disposed of.
If the bodies are not identified the county seeks court permission to get rid of them.
There are 131 unclaimed bodies at the City Mortuary and seven at Mama Lucy Hospital.
City Hall will run an advert in the dailies in the course of the week about the planned disposal of the bodies at City Mortuary.
Mbagathi morgue has a storage capacity of 120 bodies. The morgue had received 12 unclaimed bodies in 2017, 70 in 2018 and 15 this year.
In September, suspended Health executive Mohammed Dagane raised concern over the increasing number of unclaimed bodies at the county’s health facilitates.
It was reported there were 273 unclaimed bodies at City Mortuary, Mbagathi and Mama Lucy hospital morgues
Governor Mike Sonko’s administration appealed to the public to go to the morgues to identify the bodies.
Dagane said some of the bodies might have been abandoned by relatives unable to clear hospital bills.
“There should be no cases of unclaimed bodies in health facilities because these are patients who had been admitted there and have passed away. In cases where the clients cannot raise the bills, they raise the same to the relevant hospital as well as seeking a waiver to be allowed to collect the bodies,” he said.
In July, City Hall published the names of 23 unclaimed bodies at City Mortuary. Only half of the bodies were thereafter identified and collected.
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