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Kabale Mortuary Workers Accused of Extortion

Mortuary attendants at Kabale Regional Referral Hospital are on the spot for allegedly extorting money from bereaved families who go there to claim dead bodies.

Eve Namara, a resident Mafuga Cell, in Butobere Ward of Kabale Municipality who works with a local organization Butobere Twimukye Association, says people were being charged exorbitant amounts of money to get their bodies from the mortuary,

The money, she says, ranges from 100,000 to 200,000 shillings.

Namara said on Wednesday this week she received a complaint that the body of one Anthony Muhwezi aged 25, a resident of Bushuro parish, Kitumba Sub County who died in an accident was held by the mortuary and the family was asked to pay Shs 200,000.

Justus Tindyebwa, another local resident says his cousin sister died in an accident in Kabale town and the mortuary attendant asked the family to pay Shs 190,000.

The concern was raised on Thursday  during a community dialogue that was organized by PATH; a non-profit organization that is implementing the Advocacy for Better Health, to improve availability, accessibility, and quality of health and social services in Uganda.

Gad Rugaju, the Kabale Deputy RDC while speaking as the chief guest expressed dismay about the allegations and promised to follow up the matter.

When contacted, Sr. Christine Akurut the Kabale regional referral hospital Principal Nursing officer admitted to the allegations.

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She said however, that the problem has a challenge of dealing with such health workers, when people don’t report them directly to the hospital administrators but choose to go public.

Akurut stressed that no one is supposed to pay in order to claim a body from the Hospital Mortuary.

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