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Zomba Central Hospital finds contractor to fix non-functioning cold rooms in mortuary
The Deputy Minister of Health made an unexpected visit to the facility to fully grasp the magnitude of the problem, where it was also established that 2 of the cold rooms have been non-functional
Malawi: The Zomba Central Hospital in Malawi has found a contractor to renovate the non-functioning cold rooms in the hospital's mortuary, writes Mathews Mwantani.
Two of the rooms developed gas leaks and have been out of service for six months, while the other two broke down in April 2022 due to faulty compressors caused by power outages. The five cold rooms are supposed to store a total of 30 dead bodies.
Deputy Minister of Health, Enoch Phale, directed the management of the hospital to identify a contractor who could start working immediately on the cold rooms by Wednesday, 18th January, this week, following reports that four out of five cold rooms were not functioning, leading to concerns of dead bodies decomposing.
Speaking in a telephone interview, the Director of Zomba Central Hospital, Dr Saulosi Nyirenda, confirmed that a contractor has been identified and is on the site working on the non-functional cold rooms.
“By the end of yesterday (Wednesday) we managed to evaluate and pick a contractor, to fix the cold rooms. As I am talking to you, two of the four cold rooms that were not functioning are already working; making it a total of three working cold rooms that we now have,” Nyirenda said.
The Director added that the maintenance of the two cold rooms has increased the capacity of dead bodies they can keep from six to now 18 reducing the risk of having decomposed dead bodies at the hospital's mortuary.
He assured people in Zomba and surrounding districts that no dead body has decomposed, as has been reported by other platforms.
The remaining two non-functioning cold rooms are expected to be maintained soon; once the contractor evaluates the materials needed to renovate them.
The Deputy Minister of Health made an unexpected visit to the facility to fully grasp the magnitude of the problem, where it was also established that 2 of the cold rooms have been non-functional since April 2022.
Phale said: "I made this prompt visit to Zomba Central Hospital after I got reports that our mortuary is not fully functioning, and we thought that was stressful considering that we need to bury our beloved ones in a dignified manner and not have any threat of anybody being decomposed."