The Ministry of Health and Social Services has commissioned an assessment to determine the functionality of all hospital-based mortuaries around the country.
This was announced by Health Minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula on Friday during the 33rd COVID-19 public briefing where he noted that the study on mortuaries will be completed soon.
The assessment comes after mortuaries across the country were overwhelmed during the month of June and July when the country experienced increased deaths due to COVID-19.
The high demand on mortuaries resulted in the ministry using mobile mortuaries as supplement while City of Windhoek at the time also conducted an urgent cremation of unclaimed bodies to free up mortuary space. This was exacerbated by the limited capacity of the private undertakers to conduct burials timely as well as a shortage of coffins that was at the time reported in the country.
Shangula said since then mortuary space has been increased at several hospitals including Windhoek Central Hospital mortuary where two refrigerated containers with 32 cabins each were secured.
One refrigerated container with 25 shelves was also delivered to Mariental State Hospital, by a private company; one refrigerated container with 45 cabins donated by a private company was delivered to Okahandja State Hospital while another refrigerated truck with 45 shelves was delivered at Grootfontein hospital. Four containers with 16 shelves each were sent to Otjiwarongo, Gobabis, Keetmanshoop, Onandjokwe and Outapi and one refrigerated container with 16 shelves delivered to the Rehoboth hospital.
“The government appreciates the support received from the private sector and development cooperation partners who provided refrigerated containers to serve as additional mortuary space to accommodate human remains of those who succumbed to COVID-19,” Shangula said, adding they continue to use mobile refrigerated containers of various capacities to complement space of fixed mortuaries.
Source: Namibia Press Agency (NAMPA)