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|T O P I C R E V I E W
||Posted - 20 May 2022 : 18:18:48
I was saddened to read the aricle in the Standard newspaper that the dead have treated in the way the paper has discribed with everyone who had knowledge of the matter had done apparantly nothing ,in my OPINION this is a case where a NAMED government minister should liaise with all religious parties and find a way forward.
Unclaimed corpses to be buried soon
The Standard: MAY 20, 2022
By Tabora Bojang
The Director of Health Services at the Ministry of Health, Dr Mustapha Bittaye has told The Standard that measures are ongoing to ensure the safe burial of over 40 dead bodies that are kept at the country’s main referral, Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul.
The presence of the bodies, some of them since over 5 years ago, has caused concern among many people.
But according to Dr. Bittaye, a site for the burial of these unclaimed corpses has already been identified and the digging of the graves already started.
A couple of weeks ago, one Kine Jagne Sallah in a live video made a startling revelation of the corpses being kept in refrigerated containers at the hospital for well over five years.
The lady, who claimed to be a financer to the EFSTH mortuary, said she came to this realisation following a request she made to be taken to the mortuary.
But speaking on the matter on Wednesday, Dr. Bittaye said: “I have been given updates that the process was halted because of the environment in those days. You don’t just go around burying a lot of bodies at certain critical periods in the country like the elections. So, you have to wait for the right time and when everybody is sensitised then you can do it. We have already dug the places where they are supposed to be buried. All the paperwork and documentation has been done and our office [Ministry of Health] has given all the approvals.”
According to him, the process is multifaceted and involves coordination among the police, EFSTH and Gambia Red Cross Society.
He said the process was prolonged because most of the corpses are unclaimed which requires thorough consultations and verifications.
“It is not easy to just dump bodies like that. You have to take a lot of precautions and ensure that every mechanism is exhausted. You can’t bury somebody’s corpse like that without due consideration,” the director added. Dr Bittaye referred The Standard to the EFSTH spokesperson Kebba Sanneh for more details. Mr Sanneh was not available but he told West Coast Radio on Wednesday that the bodies were brought to the hospital for keeping and it is not the responsibility of the hospital to bury them.
|3 L A T E S T R E P L I E S (Newest First)
||Posted - 18 Aug 2022 : 14:57:09
NO Movement on this very sad state of affairs, according to Kebba Nyancho Sanneh, the Principal Public Relations Officer (PPRO) at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH).
These dead people MUST be able to be identified and buried, UNIQUE identification of people has been possible for some time by taking their DNA , DISCUSSIONS should take place with GOVERNMENT and those who are involved IN THIS PRESENT TIME to find a way to proceed further.
40 unidentified bodies at EFSTH set for burial
Aug 18, 2022, 11:45 AM | Article By: Ismaila Sonko
Kebba Nyancho Sanneh, the Principal Public Relations Officer (PPRO) at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) has confirmed that 40 unidentified bodies at the Banjul Mortuary will all be buried.
He added that the corpses will be buried separately and will be done soon with a public notification.
These unidentified corpses have been lying at the Banjul Mortuary since the time of former President Jammeh.
Speaking to The Point in an interview, Mr. Sanneh noted that the Gambian Constitution does not allow mass burial.
Mr. Sanneh’s comments followed a controversial video that was making rounds on social media in which a lady claimed that a staff of the hospital had shown her a 40-feet container stationed at the Death House containing over 40 unidentified dead bodies – something the hospital did not deny.
Mr. Sanneh said most of the dead bodies that came to the hospital were escorted by the police and that “it's the responsibility of the police to identify those bodies so that they could be buried.”
Mr. Sanneh said people should understand that the hospital is not responsible for burying the corpse. “They can only keep them at the mortuary.”
According to him, they were given a go-ahead for the mass burial of those corpses but the management of the hospital had a stakeholders meeting in which “we were made to understand that the Gambian Constitution does not allow mass burial.”
PRO Sanneh indicated that they intended to do the fingerprint for all those corpses in order to identify them but that did not happen because of the condition of the corpse.
He added that both Muslim and Christian communities will be present during the burial and they will perform prayers for the corpses.
PRO Sanneh said the institutions are governed by the rule of law and that those regulations cannot be passed in one’s favour.
"We believe that those bodies have not interfered with our jobs because our service delivery system has not been interrupted by those corpses at the mortuary.”
||Posted - 05 Jun 2022 : 15:03:37
The Morgue at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) in Banjul
Posted by Fabakary B Ceesay on 19 MAY 2022
By: Philip Saine
( Author Philip Saine)
To keep up with the necessary periodical maintenance at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) admissions wards are supported by corporate institutions. Thus we find the Petrogas- Medical Ward and the 1st Lady Fund- Obstetrics Unit. These innovations contribute significantly in reducing mortality but still greater results could be achieved if both patient and individual health care providers are rewarded.
The Morgue however, benefited little from such initiatives and the name remains unchanged- the ‘Mortuary or Dead House’. It is on record that GAMTEL had installed some useful equipment. Recently, this mortuary at the EFSTH had a remarkable upgrading that would facilitate sanitary operation. The work was undertaken by Gambian philanthropies living abroad and should be encouraged and provided with greater space for continuous support.
During the renovation activities, a refrigerated container was noted to be holding about 40 corpses. It is known that hospitals quite often provide pathological services for the determination of causes of death; such will provide vital information for public health planning. Corpses are retained until complete investigations can be done. It is also necessary to hold deceased bodies suspected of foul play to allow for legal course of actions. It was not only the presence of human bodies in a refrigerated container that was worrying but their very long period of retention (5 to 10 years). The bodies are under refrigeration and therefore pose little or no public health hazard.It is important not to underestimate the cost of maintaining such storage facilities and also not to ignore the denial of proper storage to situations that really demand for it. The operation of the morgue should stipulate the maximum period a corpse could be retained in the mortuary. The public should be well informed of this policy and continuous reminder be given to any person or institution that brings in a corpse.
The potential public health hazards, the rising cost of refrigeration and the occupied space justify the questioning that circulates amongst the public. It is a human behavour particularly Gambian, to show respect and dignity to any human remains or body parts.
Whatever is the original cause of this pathetic situation at the mortuary, concerned authorities including the Hospital Operations and Management Board, Ministry of Health and Police are engaged in finding a solution. Arriving at an acceptable solution demands careful consideration of;legal processes, public health and socio-cultural norms. Opportunities should be given to family members to verify identifiable corpses. The minimum religious rites (Muslim and Christianity) be allowed and facilitated. It is reasonable to envisage mass burial but there should be a public announcement of the place date and time of mass funeral. Some members of the public would like to perform ‘works of mercy’ be attending to funeral and offering prayers for either known or unknown persons.
||Posted - 02 Jun 2022 : 22:25:00
By Awa Macalo on June 2, 2022
The Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital has said that the unidentified dead bodies at the mortuary have no health implications on the lives of patients, staff, and residents around the vicinity.
“Over a long period, 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,” a statement from the hospital said.
The hospital management also reported that procedures are already in place to provide a mass grave for the corpses.
“We would like to inform the general public that the preparations are done in collaboration with the police and the Banjul City Council to have the bodies buried in a mass grave,” the statement added.
The presence of the bodies, some of them over 5 years ago, has caused concern among many people.
However, the hospital authority said that the mortuary has a well-functioning mechanism that preserves bodies and imposes no health hazards.
“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.”
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