Kaoma District Hospital in Western Province is operating without mortuary services and members of public have been advised to bury their relatives immediately to avoid decomposing, it has been learnt.

Members of the public have complained that the mortuary was not operating because the compressors of the mortuary unit were running but without producing the required cooling effect and as a result bereaved families were strongly warned to bury their dead immediately they passed away.

Some residents said those who were privileged made arrangements with the Kaoma barracks military camp hospital to keep the bodies in their mortuary for 24 hours.

“The bulk of the population does not have such a privilege to be in touch with the military command to secure the services of their hospital camp mortuary whose space is also limited due to size,” one resident said.

And Kaoma district commissioner Robert Chiseke told the Daily Nation that the Government had immediately assessed the situation and that experts were doing everything possible to ensure the mortuary was repaired.

Mr Chiseke said his office was aware of the challenge and efforts were made to ensure hospital operations were back to normal this week.

“We are aware of the crisis at the hospital and as Government, the challenge we have is that the compressors of the mortuary unit are not producing the required cooling to preserve the bodies and we have engaged experts to work on it.

“In fact we had bought compressors which could not operate properly and we have already sent for orders to have it replaced and this is what is still delaying, otherwise all will be fine in the next few days,” he said.

Mr Chiseke urged Philips, the company servicing the fridges, to quickly assess and fix the compressors to ensure the mortuary operated normally.

He said the Government was concerned with the welfare of its people and that it would make everything possible to address the challenges because the town could not go without proper mortuary services at the hospital.

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