Kenyans Issued Ultimatum on Uncollected Bodies

The Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) issued Kenyans with an ultimatum of one week to identify and collect 418 unclaimed bodies at the hospital, failure to which they will be interred.

Kenyans Issued Ultimatum on Uncollected Bodies

Kenyans have been issued notices regarding the collection of bodies from mortuaries across the country in a bid to decongest them.

The Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) issued Kenyans with an ultimatum of one week to identify and collect 418 unclaimed bodies at the hospital, failure to which they will be interred.

In a public notice on Tuesday, July 20, KNH said the 418 bodies have been lying at the facility’s funeral with no next of kin coming forward to claim them.

Image of a mortuary. /CITIZEN DIGITAL

“Pursuant to Public Health Ac Cap 242 (Subsidiary Legislation Public Health Mortuaries Rules, 1991), interested members of the public are asked to identify and collect the bodies within 7 days, failure to which KNH will seek authority for disposal,” read part of the notice.

Cap 242 of the Public Health Act states that an unclaimed body should be removed from a mortuary within two weeks or else it is disposed of in a mass grave after public officers obtain a court’s permission.

The Kenyatta National Hospital said the list of bodies is available at the funeral home and can also be accessed digitally through the facility’s website.

Concurrently, the Nakuru County government issued a 21-day notice to members of the public to collect 46 unclaimed bodies.

George Gachomba, the County Public Health Officer, told Citizen Digital that 26 adult unclaimed bodies and 20 unknown fetuses have been laying in the mortuary for more than 3 months and are in the state of decomposing.

Gachomba said the county’s Department of Public Health Services has exhausted all the available mechanisms to trace their next of kin without success. A list of the bodies indicating the scenes of crime and nature of death and escort contacts has since been released to assist in tracing the next of kin within the 21 days.

He added that the bodies have been congesting the mortuary and the government is also incurring huge costs in preserving them.

Members of the public are therefore urged to help trace, identify and collect bodies within the mentioned time, failure to which the bodies will be disposed at the Nakuru South Cemetery.

On Monday, July 19, the Kisumu County government disposed of a total of 61 bodies that had been lying in the county’s various mortuaries in mass graves after obtaining court orders.

The county has also given a one-week window for relatives to claim the sixteen unclaimed bodies lying at the Kisumu County Referral Hospital and Ahero sub-county hospital. 

City Hall, and recently Nairobi Metropolitan Services, have on several occasions raised concerns over the high number of the bodies lying in its mortuaries.

NMS Director-General Mohammed Badi. /FILE