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More than 200 unclaimed bodies in Nairobi mortuaries to be disposed of

The County Government of Nairobi will dispose of 292 unclaimed bodies in a mass grave if they are not identified and collected in the next seven days.

In an advertisement published on local dailies on Friday, County Secretary and Head of Public Service Dr Jairus Musumba advised interested members of the public to go and identify unclaimed bodies.

Under Public Health Act Cap 242, requires interested members of the public to identify and collect the bodies within 7 days, failure to which the hospital will seek authority from the courts to dispose of them.

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According to the notice, City Mortuary, which has a capacity of 174 bodies, currently has 214 unclaimed bodies, while 50 bodies have not been claimed at Mbagathi Hospital mortuary which has a capacity of 120. At Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital mortuary, 28 bodies have not been identified.

The causes of the death have been listed as suicide, road accidents, murder, sudden deaths, natural deaths, mob justice, shooting, drowning and some unknowns.

Some of the unclaimed bodies have been lying in mortuaries since 2021, which is now hindering county’s revenue collection.

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In September last year, the county disposed of 236 unclaimed bodies from city public morgues, while in the previous year, the now defunct Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) disposed of 119 bodies.

However, some members of the public have raised concerns over the planned disposals of the unclaimed bodies.

Some have claimed the families of people who have been listed to have died of suicide could be unaware, and that the victim might taken their lives in a different town from home.

“There are deaths by suicide there. A guy took his own life, was found, taken to the mortuary, but nobody has come to claim his body. The tragedy of discovering a loved one is dead by seeing their name in the newspaper as a body up for disposal,” said one member of the public.

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