Bodies decompose at Mat South hospital mortuary

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BY PRESTIGE MUNTANGA
BODIES are reportedly decomposing at Tshelanyemba Mission Hospital in Maphisa, Matabeleland South province, following the breakdown of coldrooms at the institution’s mortuary

This came to light after a number of people were made to collect decomposing bodies of their relatives from the institution.

Angry villagers hit out at management at the institution over the developments after they failed to conduct body viewing because of the poor state of the bodies.

“We are deeply hurt about what the hospital did to our child.

When we went to collect his body on Sunday morning, we failed to bath him because his skin had started peeling off.

Smell was all over.

He spent four days in the mortuary which was not even functioning,” said a villager who spoke anonymously.

“We confronted the staff members over why they had left our son to rot in their fridges and they just apologised and said it was a mistake.

To us, it showed that the staff members were not even checking on him.

They just left him there.

After all, we had paid R400 for storage.”

He said the hospital gave them plastic bags to cover the corpse.

“He could hardly fit in the coffin as his body was swollen.

What we experienced was devastating and we are still failing to eat or do anything.

No human being is supposed to be treated that way.

We are not the only people to complain about this. Some of our neighbours also experienced the same situation,” he said.

Another villager said the hospital had a history of poor service delivery.

“As villagers in Tshelanyemba, we call upon the authorities to take action and deal with this situation.

It’s not only the mortuary that offers poor services, but also the hospital.

People spend the whole day queueing for services there and end up going back to their homes without getting any help,” the villager said.

“We once complained about the same issue, but no action was taken.

The authorities were abusing nurses and some of them ended up resigning, but no action was taken.

We understand that this hospital provides services to more than 7 000 people and what happens when they provide such services?”

Matabeleland South provincial medical director Ruth Chikodzore confirmed the matter, but said repairs to the mortuary would commence soon.

“There was one deceased person at the mortuary and the mission hospital realised that the mortuary was no longer functional on Saturday.

The other deceased client was not accommodated at the institutional mortuary, but the family was advised to use Kings and Queens as the institution was completing procurement processes for repairs,” she said.

“The hospital checks its functionality daily.

As we speak, the technicians who do repairs are on their way to the hospital.

We expect the mortuary to be back to normal function soon after repairs.”

In 2018, the institution almost closed after it spent three months without electricity, a situation that made life difficult for patients and staff members who had also been grappling with water shortages for a long time.

The situation worsened with villagers being asked to buy fuel for generators if they wanted their relatives’ bodies to be accommodated at the institution.

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