Thursday May 15 2014

Iganga Hospital stuck with unclaimed rotting bodies

By Yazid Yolisigira

Iganga Hospital was by Wednesday evening stuck with unclaimed decomposing bodies in its mortuary due to lack of a cemetery on the hospital’s premises.

A hospital staff told this newspaper that five bodies had been brought in by police patrol vehicles from Namutumba, Luuka and Iganga, but had remained unclaimed for more than a week.

This newspaper has learnt that the hospital cemetery was closed three months ago to create space for the construction of new buildings under an ongoing $5 million (Shs13b) project that is being carried out by the Chinese firm Earo Technology International.

Matters have been complicated by the fact that the facility’s small and dilapidated mortuary which has a capacity of only eight bodies does not have refrigeration facilities.

The Iganga District health officer, Dr David Muwanguzi, acknowledged the problem.

“We don’t have a cemetery in the hospital. The one we had was closed yet we lack land where to put another one,” he said.
Dr Muwanguzi said the hospital had in January written to the municipal authorities requesting for land on which to establish a cemetery, but no response was forthcoming.

The treasurer, Iganga Municipal Council, Mr Moses Isiko, said the municipality is to meet with the district land board and other relevant authorities to resolve the matter.