Officials at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) have buried the decomposed corpses in a mass grave on Monday afternoon after the mortuary at Malawi’s major referral hospital has been shut down as three of its coldrooms have broken down.
The bodies were buried at Biwi cemetery near Lilongwe Girls Secondary School.
The bodies decomposed following the non-functioning of three cold rooms at the hospital for almost two months now.
Nyasa Times sources at KCH said following a meeting held Monday morning by the hospital’s top staff, they resolved to bury the bodies to minimize the odour that had engulfed the hospital premises.
The maggot-infested body bags were taken out of the mortuary by Lilongwe City Council officials in a van to the mass-grave.
“We could not hold onto them anymore,” said one official, adding “Families and grieving relatives should never face this kind of indignity.”
KCH is one of Malawi’s public health facilities facing acute shortage of essential drugs. Recently the hospital was rocked by staff strikes.
A nurse at KCH who spoke to Nyasa Times on condition of anonymity said she now feels like “a mortuary attendant” because many people are dying around her every day, even though in some of the cases, the deaths could have been avoided.
She said the hospital has become a place where people come to prepare for death, rather than being saved.