Unclaimed bodies of 146 babies to be disposed by KNH
Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) has notified the public that it plans to dispose of 203 bodies at the facility if their relatives fail to identify them in the next seven days.
Among them are over 146 babies and 57 adults who are likely to be buried in mass graves if the loved ones will not identify them in the coming days.
Through a gazette notice, KNH stated that it intends to seek court permission to dispose of them within seven days.
According to a list released by KNH, children are the most affected group by this seemingly growing problem.
Many die at the hospital every month, but their bodies are never claimed.
The list released by the hospital further indicates that the bodies piled up from August to October, which could be a pointer to high mortality at the country’s main referral hospital.
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 public officers obtain permission from a court.
The hospital said a list of the names is available at the KNH Farewell Home and can also be accessed through the institution’s website.
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In November, KNH disposed of a total of 233 unclaimed bodies that had been lying at the mortuary between July and August.
Among them were 217 children and 16 adults.
The Nairobi devolved government buried 236 unclaimed bodies from various mortuaries in September.
Some 218 were reported as unclaimed at City Mortuary, while 18 were from Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital.
The causes of death ranged from abortion and miscarriage to critical illness.
The bodies were received in the morgues in between March 2021 and March 2022, having been picked from different locations by the police officers on patrol.
On March 4, 2022, Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) issued a public notice on the planned disposal of unclaimed bodies abandoned in city mortuaries between November 2020 and September 2021.