Africa-Press – Eswatini. The Mbabane Government Hospital is faced with a challenge of unclaimed bodies, particularly fetuses not claimed by their families at the new wing mortuary.

As result, Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Health, Khanya Mabuza informed this publication that the hospital’s new wing was now being utilised, as an alternative to the Mbabane Government Hospital mortuary being closed.

He said this was an alternative way to store corpses at the hospital’s new wing.

The Mbabane Government freezer now needs to be replaced, after it developed faults. According to insiders, the mortuary was closed around Tuesday last week which affected the conducting of post-mortems and other procedures done at the morgue.

Mabuza yesterday disclosed that about 10 bodies that had been kept in the mortuary had been removed after the freezer malfunctioned and were taken to the new wing.

“The new wing has a mortuary so we had to switch on the cold rooms which are fortunately working so we had to transfer the bodies to the new hospital wing,” he said.

He added that some of the families decided to take their relatives’ bodies to their preferred private mortuaries at their own cost.

Mabuza mentioned that there were bodies which were not claimed at the hospital, including fetuses which presented a challenge to them as space is eventually filled overtime.

In this regard, the PS said the ministry had already written a letter to the Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) in order to conduct a pauper’s funeral for all unclaimed bodies.

He further shared that the post-mortems can be easily conducted at the new wing and members of the public should not worry that there would be delays caused by inability to conduct one.

When asked when the freezer at the old mortuary would be fixed, he said he wouldn’t have a specific timeframe as the freezer was being fixed by the ministry’s bio-medical unit.

Mabuza went on to add that private mortuaries would be sought for additional support in the event the new wing mortuary was full.

Communications Officer in the Ministry of Health, Nsindiso Tsabedze, previously stated that the mortuary had stopped receiving bodies but Mabuza disclosed that this has changed.

Furthermore, Tsabedze said plans were being made in collaboration with the Municipal Council of Mbabane and the ministry of housing and urban development.

“The ministry was also in discussion with Dignity For All, to guide on procedures for proper management of paupers and their burials,” he said.

Dignity For All Chairperson Themba Makhanya said it was true that they were engaging with government to conduct paupers funerals for the unclaimed bodies.

Makhanya said they were also working with government to put in place structures that would assist in minimising paupers in the future. This, he said, included registration of foreigners upon admissions in the government hospitals, across the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

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