For a long time mortuary services at the Msambweni Referral Hospital in Kwale County have been wanting, courtesy of the facility’s deplorable state of affairs.
Speaking at the hospital, Governor Salim Mvurya promised a modern morgue even as he ordered investigations into the poor services at the hospital following persistent complaints from patients.
Bereaved residents have been grappling with the dilemma of where to take bodies of their loved ones for proper preservation as the only functional morgue in the region has been on its death bed.
Uncollected bodies have been rotting as the morgue is not only congested but its refrigeration system has also been ailing.
However, this challenge will soon be a thing of the past as plans are underway to construct a new mortuary to replace the old and decaying one, according to Mr. Mvurya.
Ironically, the Governor made the pledge even as another modern mortuary lies idle four years after its completion at the Kwale Hospital.
For unknown reasons the facility is yet to be opened in a region which seemingly is never short of controversies revolving around mortuaries.
Sometime back residents opposed the opening of a multi-million-shilling mortuary and crematorium built in an estate in Ukunda by a private developer.
Residents held a demonstration in Mwakamba area saying the mortuary was misplaced and did not go well with their religious and traditional beliefs.
Muslims who are the majority in the county do not take bodies to the mortuary since they bury them almost immediately.
Besides, African culture is also sensitive to mortuaries especially if they are close to residential areas.
“A new mortuary will be built to replace the old one which has been faulty most of the time,” said Mr.Mvurya who blamed the many woes facing the hospital on lazy and corrupt health workers.
He said both the county and national government have allocated more resources to ensure the hospital can live up to its new designation following its elevation to referral status.
“We have spent so much money in a bid to improve services at this institution but services still leave a lot to be desired hence the need for the investigations in a bid to put things right,” the Governor said.
He said efforts to improve healthcare are hampered by sloppy work by staff at the hospital who he accused of many ills including hoarding drugs, charging for blood transfusion and being rude and arrogant.
He added that the county government will stop funding more infrastructural health projects and instead focus on human resource management development for improved service delivery.
By Shaban Omar and James Muchai