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Entebbe hospital stuck with unclaimed body of Covid-19 victim

Monica Nakanjako succumbed to COVID-19 last month

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital is stuck with the body of Monica Nakanjako who succumbed to COVID-19 last month. Eric Sserwanga, an administrator at the hospital says that Nakanjako died on June 23, 2021, four days after her admission.

“She was semi-conscious at the time of admission,” he said. He explains that the hospital has not been able to trace Nakanjako’s relatives or next of kin because she walked into the hospital with only her positive COVID-19 PCR test certificate.

“Even the information on the certificate was faint because it had been ruined by the rain. To make matters worse, she did not have any form of identification or phone,” he said.

Beatrice Adong Olim, the senior administrator Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital said that, “we thought that we would get her personal details with time as she receives treatment. But we were not able to because she became critical and was on oxygen when she succumbed to the disease.”

There were over 130 COVID-19 patients including 15 medics who had contracted the virus when Nakanjako was admitted. The hospital was also handling over 100 people every day who were showing up for other services and immunization despite the high number of COVID-19 patients in its wards.

“So it was hard to know whether the patient came alone or was dropped at the hospital gate. But what we know is that she showed up at the OPD with positive COVID-19 results,” another medic said.

The hospital has been running public announcements on CBS Radio four days a week but nobody has shown up to claim the deceased’s body. Sserwanga says the hospital is giving Nakanjako’s relatives and contacts three more days to claim her body.

“Otherwise, the office of the town clerk has given us space to bury Nakanjako’s body in the public cemetery in Kitooro,” he said. Sserwanga says claimants must present a letter from their village chairperson and any other documents to prove their relationship with the deceased.

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