By Nation Reporter
THE University Teaching Hospital (UTH) has appealed to the general public to take keen interest in checking for their missing relatives, adding that the hospital had a lot of unclaimed bodies.
In an interview with the Daily Nation, UTH public relations manager Mwenya Mulenga disclosed that the hospital had
recently buried over 50 unclaimed bodies and that the number was increasing.
Mr Mulenga said some people were in the habit of abandoning their sick relatives in critical condition and giving the hospital wrong details so that they should not be traced if needed by the hospital authorities.
He explained that when such patients died, the hospital just put the body in the mortuary in the absence of relatives who usually never turned up to look for their dead relatives.
Mr Mulenga appealed to the public to take keen interest in checking for their missing relatives. “We have a lot of unclaimed bodies in our mortuary. Some people who bring patients even give wrong details such that we fail to locate them when they abandon the critically ill relatives in hospital.
‘‘Some of the bodies are just brought in by the police for people to come and identify them so that they are at least given a decent burial. We would like to appeal to the public to take keen interest in checking for their missing relatives,” he said.
Mr Mulenga pointed out that the bodies were taking up too much space in the mortuary cold rooms, hence the need for people to check for their missing relatives so that they could be given a decent burial.
Mr Mulenga also bemoaned the strong smell from the mortuary section because of the almost decomposing unclaimed bodies.
He, however, disclosed that the hospital had been regularly burying bodies that had overstayed with the help of the Lusaka City Council (LCC).
Mr Mulenga also said that the hospital was spending a lot of money on burying unclaimed bodies and appealed to the public to help mitigate the situation.
“Bodies are taking up too much space in the mortuary. People need to be checking for their missing relatives so that they can be given a decent burial. There is a bad smell that comes from the mortuary section and the hospital is spending a lot of money on burying unclaimed bodies,” he said.