Member of Parliament (MP) for Rumphi North Constituency Jappie Mhango and Attorney General Charles Mhango, have donated a K12 million cold room to Rumphi District Hospital mortuary.
Speaking Saturday during the handover ceremony of the facility Acting Director of Health and Social Services at Rumphi District Health Office Dr Stephen Macheso described the donation as timely saying the hospital was failing to keep dead bodies for long period.
The hospital had no functioning mortuary cold room since 2015 when the last, which had the capacity of keeping three dead bodies, completely broke down.
“We were compelled to ask the people who had lost their loved ones to expedite the repatriation of the remains of their loved ones for three years because of the non-functionality of the mortuary
“It was not our wish but circumstances we were in compelled us to do so,” Macheso said.
He added that, at the same time, those that had lost their loved ones were also compelled to endure nasty smelly from the mortuary released by the remains of the dead.
Macheso recalled that during last year’s boat tragedy on Lake Malawi which claimed six lives, the DHO had to take the remains of the dead to Mzuzu which, he said, was costly to the district’s health budget.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Health Dr Dan Namarika said the new cold room, which has capacity to keep six bodies, will enable health practitioners to give respect and dignity to those alive and dead.
“The installation of the current cold room will enable Rumphi health office not to incur extra budgetary expenses to repair the previous one which would cost close to K500, 000,” Namarika said
Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe hailed the installation of the new
cold room saying the culture of treating the dead with dignity will be restored.
“Culturally, when we have lost our beloved ones we are supposed gather together including waiting for those living in distant corners of the country to come and pay respect to the deceased.
“This takes time and with the absence of a functioning cold room in the mortuary, we were compelled not to wait for the relatives living in distant areas,” he said.
The Parliamentarian, Mhango, said he and the Attorney General decided to buy the new cold room to ease challenges people were facing after losing their loved ones.
“We felt we had to do something by sharing the little we had to have this facility installed to address those challenges,” he said.