The Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) has said that joint ‘preparations are underway’ to have the unidentified corpses in its mortuary buried.
“With regards to the unidentified dead bodies (corpses) in the mortuary, EFSTH would like to inform the general public that the preparations are underway in collaboration with the police and the Banjul City Council to have the bodies buried in a mass grave,” a statement by EFSTH dated 19th May 2022 stated.
The hospital assured the public that the bodies do not pose any environmental or health hazard to the patients and staff around the hospital.
“Over a long period of time the number of unidentified bodies has increased in the mortuary. However, with the refrigerators in the mortuary functioning well they do not pose any environmental or health hazard to the patients and staff around the hospital,” it added.
The country’s referral hospital explains circumstances that led to the accumulation of the corpses at its mortuary.
“EFSTH as a hospital does admit, care and treat all kinds of patients with different health conditions. Some of these admitted patients do respond very well to treatment, however some do not, and the eventuality of death occurs. We have a functioning mortuary where dead patients are taken to for collection by family members for burial. We equally receive dead bodies, some of which are unidentified, who were not primarily admitted by us, but brought for keeping and at times further investigation by relevant authorities until they are cleared for burial,” the statement explained.
This development came after a woman revealed to the public the presence of a number of unidentified dead bodies she saw at the mortuary, following her visit to the facility. The revelation sparked public outcry leaving many considering it a potential risk to public health.