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RIP angels! Unclaimed bodies of 475 babies to be disposed by KNH in 7 days

The Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) has informed the public that it plans to dispose of 541 bodies at the facility if their relatives fail to identify them in the next seven days.

This includes over 475 babies and 66 adults who are likely to be buried in mass graves if their relatives fail to identify them in the coming days.

According to the hospital, seven of the adult bodies are female and the remaining 59 are male.

“The Kenyatta National Hospital is in possession of a number of unclaimed bodies at their final resting place,” it said.

In a public notice published on MyGov this week, the hospital said it was acting in accordance with the Public Health Act Cap 242 Subsidiary legislation Public Health Public Mortuaries rules, 1991.

“In terms of the Public Health Act Cap 242, interested members of the public are therefore requested to identify and collect the bodies within seven days, failing which the hospital will seek the authority of the courts to dispose of them,” KNH said.

According to the list released by KNH, children are the group most affected by what appears to be a growing problem.

Many die in the hospital every month, but their bodies are never claimed.

The Public Health Act requires that an unclaimed body be removed from a mortuary within two weeks.

If not, it should be buried in a mass grave after officials obtain permission from a court.

The hospital said a list of names is available at the KNH Farewell Home and can also be accessed on the facility’s website.

Various hospitals in Nairobi County have continued to bear the burden of storing unclaimed bodies in their facilities.

Last week, Nairobi County informed Nairobi, residents, that they had seven days to identify the bodies of their loved ones lying at City Mortuary, Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital and Mbagathi Hospital morgues.

Failure to do so will result in Nairobi County disposing of all 185 unclaimed bodies.

City Mortuary has 130 unclaimed bodies, Mbagathi Hospital Mortuary has 38 and Mama Lucy Hospital Mortuary has 17.

The unclaimed bodies have accumulated in the mortuaries between September 2021 and December 2023, with their registrations coming from several police stations.