Patients, staffers and visitors at Kwekwe General Hospital had a torrid time after a corpse — which was in an advanced state of decomposition, was denied access to the hospital mortuary and later dumped at the institution’s car park.
The decomposed body was reportedly dumped at the car park following an impasse between police details who had brought the body, and hospital staff — who argued the body might contaminate other bodies.
The unidentified body was brought to the institution by Kwekwe Rural Police details after they picked it up in a suspected murder case.
The body reportedly lay in the open from Tuesday night around 10pm before being finally taken into the hospital mortuary following an outcry by visitors who complained of the stench.
Kwekwe General Hospital medical superintendent Dr Patricia Mapanda professed ignorance over the matter.
“I was not at work when it happened but the last time I checked the body was in the mortuary. I would not know what transpired during my absence. You can talk to the administrator,” said Dr Mapanda.
But a staff member within the institution told this reporter on condition of anonymity that the institution lacked proper facilities.
“How do you feel when you come to collect a body of your relative from the mortuary and you fail to access it because there is a body that is stinking. So we try to ensure that the bodies in our mortuary are not affected,” said the source.
The source further laid the blame on police saying they were in the habit of bringing in decomposed bodies to the mortuary.
“The police are to blame for all this. They bring decomposed bodies yet they know that we do not have adequate resources. They are supposed to take them for postmortem first before bringing them this side,” said the source.
Officer Commanding Kwekwe Police Chief Superintendent Conrad Mubaiwa said they had no option but to take bodies to the mortuary.
“The body was picked up by Kwekwe Rural police details in an advanced state of decomposition. But we do not have any option besides taking it to a mortuary. I think this is now an issue of proper facilities, not only at Kwekwe Hospital but every other health institution. The institutions should be well equipped but unfortunately as it is we do not have any option but to take the bodies there,” said Chief Supt Mubaiwa.
He said the body of the suspected murder victim, whose relatives were yet to be identified, would be taken to Bulawayo this Friday for postmortem.