The State of Mortuary and Mortuary Services in Public Health Facilities of South Western Uganda
Katongole, Simon Peter
Anguyo, Robert DDM
Wampande, Lillian Nantume
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Mortuaries and mortuary services are very crucial support services to healthcare delivery. Information on the status of mortuary services in Uganda is largely missing. This study therefore was carried out to assess the status and factors associated with the prevailing status of mortuary services. A descriptive cross-sectional study that employed both qualitative and quantitative methods of data analysis was carried out in South Western Uganda. Two regional referral hospitals, four district hospitals and 38 public health centre IV’s were studied. Data in these health facilities were obtained through observation, interviewing the managers of the health facilities and personnel directly responsible for the running of mortuary services about the state of and functionality of mortuaries in the facilities they headed. Out of all the health facilities studied, Nineteen (19/44, 43%) did not have mortuaries at all while 21/25 (84%) facilities’ mortuaries, were ranked to be in a fair state. Out of the health facilities with mortuaries, Nineteen (19/25, 76%) were poorly equipped with instruments required in a mortuary.Most mortuaries did not have adequate and trained human resources. As a result, the mortuary and mortuary services are under utilized in the health facilities in the region and are mostly used as dumping and storage centres for corpses that are picked from the streets by police and corpses that are unclaimed for by relatives. The functionality of mortuaries in the area studied and in the whole country as well should be enhanced by the Ministry of health and local governments in the area. When mortuaries are functionalized, the public should be sensitized on the services offered and the need to utilize the mortuaries so as to undo the inefficiencies delineated in this study.