Namibia: Bodies Piling Up At Okahao Police Mortuary

The police mortuary at Okahao where the police conduct post-mortems has received more bodies than it can accommodate because of a pileup of bodies.

Bodies waiting for police post-mortems are being kept at the Okahao state hospital mortuary.

All police autopsies and post-mortems in the region are conducted at Okahao police mortuary, only.

Omusati regional police commander commissioner Titus Shikongo said the police mortuary at Okahao is overcrowded and the police have asked the Okahao state hospital for storage space at the hospital mortuary.

"We keep bodies of people who have died of natural causes, but outside the hospital. We keep a lot of them in the mortuary, but now we have run out of storage space because of a pileup of too many bodies. Our region is big and we have many people dying of unnatural causes in the villages and once a person dies of any kind of unnatural death, they are brought to the police mortuary for post-mortem and all these bodies are kept at the police mortuary while waiting for the autopsies," he said.

There are four police mortuaries in Omusati region at Oshifo, Onandjamba, Etayi and Okahao.

Shikongo said at present the police mortuary at Okahao can only store six bodies at a time, hence the pileup of bodies.

"There are only six compartments at the Okahao police mortuary that can store six bodies at a time. The mortuary cannot store many bodies at a time that is why we often ask for help at the hospital mortuary for storage. There is an urgent need to expand the Okahao police mortuary to store more bodies at a time. However, we have another police mortuary opening soon at Oshikuku police station and I am sure the opening of the new mortuary will lift the burden that is on our shoulders," he said.

He added that there several unclaimed bodies, however, that is not a serious issue now.

Oshifo police mortuary has a storage capacity of nine, Etayi (9) and Onandjamba (6) bringing to 33 the total storage capacity at all police mortuaries in the region.

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