Kilifi County Government Thursday opened a modern public mortuary at the Kilifi County Referral Level-4 Hospital to offer decent send-off services to the departed loved ones awaiting burial.
The Funeral home has been equipped with modern equipment and contains a 60 body capacity cold room, postmortem room, embalming chamber capable of stocking at most 6 bodies concurrently and a family viewing room.
The mortuary services had been suspended in March 2021 for upgrading, causing hues and cries by members of the public after they were advised to either take bodies of loved ones to Malindi sub county or private mortuaries.
While commissioning the launch of the Funeral Home Thursday, the area Governor Amason Kingi said the Mortuary had been in an improper state thus called for modernisation.
“When I visited the mortuary sometime back, I had purposed to enter the facility in order to see its state but it was difficult. The situation was unbearable because first even before getting inside, there was an unwelcoming foul smell. When the Mortician on duty opened the door, I saw bodies lying on the floor and that is when the journey of upgrading the facility commenced,” Kingi said.
The Funeral Home is meant to offer essential services not only for Kilifi County community but also Lamu, Mombasa, Tana River and any other in the Coast region.
Kingi said the county government intends to make a policy with the hospital on the number of days bodies should be kept in the facility such that when the period exceeded, a court order will be taken to allow the government to bury the bodies left for long to avoid overcrowding the mortuary.
He regretted the gap that has been there in lacking a proper government mortuary revealing the community’s grief over huge bills in preserving dead bodies in rather scarce private mortuaries.
“This will be among the best funeral homes in the country and will be operating at exceptionally low costs compared to the private ones. This is intended to reduce the heavy burden of losing loved ones and at the same time spending huge amounts of money in preparations for the burial. This however does not mean that we will encourage preserving bodies for more days due to the low costs,” Kingi added.
Speaking during the launch, Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo said he prides on the new Funeral Home stating that it will be an elaborate home of the departed loved ones before burial including himself when he will eventually lose his battle.
“We don’t wish to die but unfortunately death is inevitable. If that ever happens, then I will sleep here. Because of this Fancy Facility opened today, with the qualified pathologists and experts in this funeral home I am contented we will offer our deceased befitting send-off,” said Madzayo.
Kilifi County Health Executive Karisa Dadu thanked the Kilifi County residents for their patience during the period in which the old mortuary was closed for renovations.
“We know you were so inconvenienced when we closed the old mortuary in March to improve the facility as you can see it is now modernized. I would like to thank you for your patience, perseverance and understanding during that particular time because it was for the best interest of us all,’ he said.
Kilifi County has had only two mortuaries owned by private developers having one on Malindi town and another at Mavueni in the outskirts of Kilifi town.
By Treeza Auma and Harrison Yeri