Mwai Kibaki Referral Hospital new morgue can hold 300 bodies

Othaya MP Gichuki Mugambi addresses the media after officially opening Mwai Kibaki Hospital Funeral home in Othaya town, Nyeri County with a 300-body holding capacity on May 18, 2022. [Mose Sammy, Standard]

Mwai Kibaki Level Six hospital in Othaya has unveiled its own morgue, the biggest in Mt Kenya, with a capacity to hold 300 bodies.

The hospital is run by the Kenyatta National Hospital and was until the death of former President Mwai Kibaki known as KNH Othaya Annex.

The mortuary is more than double the capacity of General Kago Funeral Home at the Thika Level Five Hospital with a capacity of 112.

Speaking during an inspection tour at the facility, MP Gichuki Mugambi said the mortuary was completed. By last Wednesday there were six bodies at the facility.

Mr Mugambi said the building of the morgue was fast-tracked to ease the burden of residents who sought the services outside Othaya constituency.

KNH Othaya Annex was renamed  Mwai Kibaki Hospital as a tribute to the late President who died last month. 

The morgue has a 300 capacity but currently installed equipment can only preserve 66 bodies.

“Relatives of the departed ones were being forced to move their bodies to the neighbouring Kiriaini Mission Hospital Mortuary in Murang'a County while others were being taken to Mukurweini District Hospital mortuary and Nyeri PGH Mortuary,” the legislator added.

The Sh1 billion hospital funded by the national government was the only institution of its kind which had no morgue.

Other facilities include an oxygen plant with a capacity to generate 2.6 million litres of oxygen per day.

A pathologist has also been posted at the facility.

A senior director at the hospital, Peter Muiruri, said the hospital still needs expertise which it currently gets from KNH.

Mr Muiruri said the facility embraces innovative ways of preserving bodies.