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4 Apr, 2024 13:06

African nation to dispose of more than 400 dead babies

The Kenyatta National Hospital has given families a week to pick up their deceased loved ones for burial
African nation to dispose of more than 400 dead babies

Kenya’s oldest hospital has announced that it will dispose of the remains of 541 people, including 475 babies, if their relatives do not claim them.

The Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), which is the biggest referral health care facility in East and Central Africa, issued a public notice and a list of the unclaimed bodies on Tuesday, stating that it will seek a court order to get rid of them after a seven-day deadline expires.

The hospital, which has been in operation for more than 120 years and has a bed capacity of 1,800, has previously made similar announcements. In January, KNH announced a deadline of one week for the public to identify and claim their deceased family members from its mortuary. Last October, the medical center in the capital, Nairobi, reported that 200 unclaimed bodies, the majority of which were infants, were lying at a funeral home.

While the KNH statement did not provide a reason for the decision to remove the remains, Machakos Level 5 Hospital, another health facility in the East African country, announced in January that it would reduce the number of dead bodies brought to its morgues due to lack of space.

Daniel Yumbya, Machakos County Health Director, told reporters that the mortuary has a capacity of only 24 bodies but has been holding many more, owing in part to corpses being abandoned for an extended period.

Last September, the hospital disposed of 31 corpses, having already got rid of some in March of that year following court orders.

Health authorities in the African nation have reportedly blamed the situation on the high cost of hospital and mortuary fees.