Moroto Hospital managers want to sell unclaimed bodies

A mortuary attendant at the hospital opens the morgue that is full of abandoned bodies. Photo by Steven Ariong

Moroto- Managers of Moroto Regional Referral Hospital in Moroto District in Karamoja sub region are considering selling off unclaimed  bodies to universities and other research and training institutions.

This follows the continued habit by some people in the area who abandon bodies of their dead relatives at the medical facility.

Last month, the hospital suspended carrying out postmortem on accident victims due to limited space in the hospital mortuary which is  full of unclaimed bodies.

The hospital management then said there was not enough space in the mortuary where a doctor could stand while carrying out the autopsy.

Additionally, the stench from the uncollected dead bodies in the hospital last month forced patients to desert wards with most of them seeking shelter under trees outside the hospital building.

The Moroto Municipal council collected the bodies after police arrested eight of its staff members in the health department over negligence.

However, Dr Filbert Nyeko the hospital director says the facility is stuck with several unclaimed bodies and that the Municipal Council which is responsible for burying them was also not cooperative.

 “If we only get a fridge, we shall keep  those bodies and we sell them to universities for their students’ practical lessons. This will help us keep our mortuary clean,” he said.

 Dr Nyeko said the hospital management was organising to meet with key stake holders over the proposal adding that the hospital has no cemetery to bury unclaimed bodies.

 Mr Andrew Napaja the Moroto District chairperson during his swearing in ceremony directed Moroto Municipal Council to buy a van that would be used to transport bodies to their homes since most people abandon them in the wards because of high transport costs.