The Herald (Harare)

12 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Hospital Holds Mass Burials for 700 Neo-Natal Infants

Harare Central Hospital Last Friday conducted mass burials for 700 neo-natal infants, which had gone for several months in its mortuaries due to resource constraints. The hospital had been unable to incinerate or bury the bodies due to financial constraints. The burials were done through support from Nyaradzo Funeral Services, which provided coffins and undertaker services, Harare City Council, which provided burial space and the Registrar General (RG)'s Office's, which issued out burial orders.

In a joint statement by the hospital and Nyaradzo funeral services, the hospital's spokesperson, Mrs Philisia Mandeya said they were unable to cope with bodies of infants brought to its mortuaries by the police as well as those referred to the institution by the Department of Social Welfare

She said there were also cases of mothers who dump their deceased infants at the hospital instead of collecting them for burial.

"The situation in our public hospitals has been told over and over again. Because of the breakdown of our incinerator and other reasons, we have been unable to expeditiously dispose of the neo-natal infants, resulting in the bodies accumulating in our mortuaries.

"We are grateful to the support received from Nyaradzo, City of Harare and the RG's Office -- their involvement has enabled us to get around what had appeared to be an insurmountable task.

"We are appealing to the corporate sector to emulate the example set by Nyaradzo. We are not in any way suggesting that they should support Harare Central Hospital alone; we are basically saying they should extend the support to other institutions that are also in need."

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