The Malindi Sub County Hospital received a mobile mortuary to help preserve the bodies of the followers of controversial preacher Paul Mackenzie.
The 300-body capacity container was donated by the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) as a stop-gap measure after hospital authorities raised the red flag over the mortuary’s capacity to hold the bodies being retrieved from the Shakahola forest.
Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) Coast Regional Manager Hassan Musa told journalists the mobile morgue will be domiciled in a large container, and that it will be able to help the County Government of Kilifi to preserve the bodies of the victims of fasting in Shakahola.
Musa at the same time said more than 300 families have reported their relatives missing at the Tracing Centre set up at the Malindi Sub County Hospital Mortuary.
Kilifi County Public Health Coordinator Dr. Job Gayo thanked the Kenya Red Cross for the gesture saying it would go a long way in solving the crisis hospital authorities have been grappling with.
He said Malindi Sub County Hospital Mortuary had a capacity of only 20 bodies and that the container would only be used to preserve the bodies of Mackenzie’s followers while the main facility will continue preserving bodies of people who die at the hospital.
The sub-county morgue has so far received 82 bodies from Shakahola while another eight bodies are being preserved at the Kilifi County Referral Hospital Mortuary, said Dr. Gayo.
Hospital Administrator Said Ali said the mobile mortuary is able to effectively preserve bodies as it has temperatures ranging between negative five degrees and positive ten degrees Celsius.
Meanwhile, families that have been flocking to the mortuary to report their missing kin are becoming desperate by the day since the bodies so far exhumed are not recognizable.
Naomi Kahindi told reporters that she had received news that her sister, Mary Kahindi and her six children were among the victims whose bodies had been exhumed but she was unable to see the bodies since police said they were unrecognizable.
According to Naomi, Mary and her husband only identified as Smart were the founder members of Mr. Mackenzie’s denomination, which she said started in her father’s house in Kisumu Ndogo area of Malindi before moving to Furunzi and later Shakahola.
By Emmanuel Masha