Marondera (New Ziana) – At least 12 bodies were lying unclaimed at Marondera General Hospital, and some were now in an advanced state of decomposition due to malfunctioning mortuary refrigerators, medical officials have said.
Only six of the hospital’s refrigerators were functional, and 21 not working.
So serious is the problem that authorities are now considering paupers’ burials for the unclaimed bodies.
Due to financial constraints, the malfunctioning refrigerators have not been repaired nor have plans to upgrade the mortuary so that it accommodates a larger number of up to 36 bodies been implemented. At present, the mortuary’s carrying capacity is 27 bodies.
The hospital’s medical superintendent, Celestino Dhege said a $15 million request to upgrade the mortuary had been submitted to the government.
“The situation calls for urgent redress especially in this time of COVID-19 where bodies need to be tested first before burial,” he added.
He added that the tested bodies cannot be released before the results are out.
“We have submitted a budget proposal of $15 million to expand our mortuary so that it accommodates at least 36 bodies and we are waiting for the funds to be released,” he said.
Dhege said the issue had been brought to the attention of the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Senator Apollonia Munzverengwi.
Another hospital official, administrator Albert Mutsinze said pauper burials were being considered for some of the decomposing bodies at the medical facility.
“Most of the decomposed bodies are coming in through the police and we are in the process of making some arrangements with authorities to give paupers’ burial to the decomposing bodies,” he said.
To alleviate the problem in part, he said Marondera General Hospital was using the mortuary services of nearby Mahusekwa District Hospital.