Hospitals to dispose of 49 unclaimed bodies

A mass grave site.

Health officials in Kisumu and Naivasha will dispose of close to 50 unclaimed bodies.  

Kisumu’s Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital will dispose of 32 unclaimed bodies that have been lying at the facility since July last year.

At the Naivasha sub-county hospital, 17 bodies will be disposed of following the expiry of a 21-day notice. 

In a notice by the referral hospital’s CEO George Rae, the public has been asked to visit the facility and identify the bodies of their kin.

The hospital has further released a list of the unclaimed bodies, indicating the exact place of death and date as well as the cause of the death.

A few of the 32 unclaimed bodies have names and include a man who died while undergoing treatment at the facility’s ward in January. Three others who also died in the wards are yet to be claimed. 

The hospital’s morgue has been stretched to capacity. “The hospital is in the process of completing a new ultra-modern funeral home to serve the western region and further ease the congestion,” said Rae.

In Naivasha, the bodies will be buried in a mass grave at Longonot trading center 30kms amid concern over the rising numbers of unclaimed bodies.

Most of them were collected by police from accident scenes. Others were found dumped along the Naivasha-Mai Mahiu road.

This is the second time this year that the hospital, whose mortuary also serves parts of Kiambu, Nyandarua and Narok counties is disposing of unclaimed bodies.

In a notice signed by Ezekiel Bowen from the Department of Public Health, the bodies had remained unclaimed for over three months.

“The hospital hereby issues a 21-day notice for the bodies to be claimed failure to which they will be buried in a mass grave at the public cemetery in Longonot,” reads the notice. Speaking earlier, hospital superintendent Angeline Ithondeka said the mortuary was overstretched.

Ithondeka said it was becoming expensive every year to dispose of the bodies. This came as the county government acquired 21 acres in Mai Mahiu area to be used as a public cemetery.