Kenya: City Hall Buries 97 Unclaimed Bodies at Lang'ata Cemetery

14 November 2019

City Hall has disposed off more than 90 unclaimed bodies that have been lying at Mbagathi Hospital Mortuary after being given a go ahead by the court.

This comes after Chief Magistrate's Court at City Hall granted the county government an order to go ahead with the disposal of the bodies which have been lying uncollected at the county hospital's morgue since April 2018.

MASS GRAVE

The 97 unclaimed bodies, comprising of 56 males and 41 females, have been buried at a mass grave at Lang'ata Cemetery.

"Upon hearing the application for disposal of Ninety Seven 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 granted as made," read in part the court order by Chief Magistrate R. Oganyo signed October 16, 2019.

The Application was No.5 of 2019 in the matter of section 169 of the Public Health Act Cap 242 Laws of Kenya. The law recommends that a body should be removed from the mortuary within two weeks and thereafter disposed off.

Prior to that, a 21-day gazette notice should have been done for publication in the dailies with the names of the bodies for ease of identification.

In August, City Hall appealed to Nairobi residents to come forward and identify the bodies which were lying at the morgue.

Then, the suspended Health Executive Mohamed Dagane said the bodies started accumulating at the morgue in 2018 when 70 were booked in and never claimed; another 27 have been booked since the beginning of the year with 12 registered at the facility in the month of April alone.

UNCLAIMED BODIES

City Hall have on several occasions raised concerns over the high number of the bodies lying at mortuaries of its different facilities without any next of kin coming forward to claim them.

In September, the county government raised the alarm over increasing numbers of unclaimed bodies in its health facilities that had hit 273 in number.

City Mortuary, Mbagathi and Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital mortuaries are some of the most affected hospitals with untaken bodies still lying at the facilities' morgues with City Mortuary having 172 unclaimed bodies, Mbagathi 97 and Mama Lucy 9.

This prompted the county to advertise for the collection of the unclaimed bodies across the county hospital mortuaries.

At the moment there are 131 unclaimed bodies at the city Mortuary and seven at Mama Lucy Hospital.

The county government is also set to run another advert in the course of the week in order to dispose another set of unclaimed bodies at City Mortuary.

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