MARONDERA - A paupers' burial is a very simple process usually done at the State’s expense, but with Zimbabwe’s debilitating economic meltdown many provincial hospitals are reeling and cannot afford even such basic services.
Marondera Provincial Hospital’s run down mortuary was so overwhelmed having conducted its last paupers’ burial in 2014 and corpses piling up uncollected.
The hospital’s morgue has since fallen into a state of disrepair, with broken refrigerators unable to maintain the required temperatures to prevent decomposition.
Their problem is a microcosmic representation of what has become of most State run hospitals.
“The ministry of health used to assist us but because of economic challenges we have had to resort to private public partnerships,” said Marondera Provincial Hospital administrator Albert Mutsinze.
“We have been engaging private companies and funeral parlours to help us solve our crisis.”
Yesterday, the hospital’s situation changed as they were able to conduct a mass burial to empty the hospital’s mortuary of 23 unclaimed and decomposing bodies.
“We buried 11 adults and 12 babies with the assistance of Doves who have taken over the running of our morgue. Among the babies’ copses are some which had been abandoned by their mothers who skipped the hospital afraid to foot the bills.
“All babies above two kilogrammes should be buried but basically when these mothers go they never come back. The adults we mainly get them from the old people’s homes. They fail to bury the deceased because no relatives are found.
“We do a media appeal to ask if they are any relatives to come forward and claim their deceased.”
Doves managing director Kenneth Chigananda said it was their drive to accord descent burials to the deceased persons who have no one else to give them a commendable burial.
“It is our duty as an institution to give all funerals a decent burial. That’s why we are aiming to make this a countrywide thing.
“We started with Chitungwiza Hospital, now in Marondera and we have partnered with them to fix their morgue which was not in a great state.”