Lamu, KENYA: There was drama at the Mpeketoni hospital mortuary on Wednesday after a family discovered that the body of their kin was missing.
The family of Deasi Wanjira, 92, who hailed from Nairobi area village, had arrived armed with a coffin ready to take their loved one home for the final rites.However, shock on them when they were told that the body had been mistakenly collected by another family and ferried to Kinangop for burial.
The deceased family and friends created a scene at the morgue, cursing, crying and even trying to physically engage the attendants demanding for the body.
The family had to go back home with an empty casket, though elders termed it as a bad omen after hours of convincing by the hospital’s management that plans were being made to bring back their body from Kinangop.
The other family was eventually contacted and asked to return the body and collect their own kin’s body which is still at the morgue.
An attendant at the morgue who refused to be mentioned said the situation was indeed one of mistaken identification of the two bodies.
Body yet to be buried
“When the other family came and asked to identify their body, they picked that one and we allowed them to leave with it. The mistake was on their part. But we understand the pain this situation has caused to the family and we are really sorry. We are glad the body had not been buried, it would have required an court order to exhume it and that would have taken longer,” he said.
The deceased’s grandson Anthony Chomba said the situation had taken a toll on the family and asked the hospital to ensure such an incident doesn’t happen again.
“We expect the hospital to render an apology because the morgue has a duty to ensure all bodies are well labeled to ensure such confusion doesn’t happen. We are just glad that the other family didn’t give us a hard time,” he said.
Lamu Health Executive Anne Gathoni confirmed the incident but said the matter had already been resolved.