Patients admitted at Chegutu District Hospital are being forced to stay in the same wards with corpses because the hospital’s mortuary is not working properly. If a patient dies in the wards, their body is not removed but is left there due to a shortage of space.

According to state media, one of the fridges in the mortuary is not working due to lack of foreign currency to source the parts required to fix it.

In addition, the other freezer only has a capacity for two bodies at a time as the other 6 slots have been taken up by unclaimed bodies. Chegutu district medical director Dr Tonderai Nhende told the publication,

The mortuary can accommodate 16 bodies. One of the fridges is down and so it now only accommodates eight bodies.

The mortuary can accommodate two bodies at a time and the average stay is two days meaning we can have days when the mortuary cannot take in bodies.

To repair the fridge, companies need foreign currency which the hospital does not have.

A nurse told reporters:

All the people dying here are just being covered with blankets and they share wards with patients until their next of kin claim the bodies. The situation becomes more complex when some bodies spend two to three days unclaimed and also especially when there is a disaster.