Some workers at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital Morgue, Gwagwalada, have lamented the sorry state of the facility, which they claim could lead to a disease outbreak that will be as deadly as the ravaging COVID-19.
Some of the workers told SaharaReporters that poor power supply and lack of adequate, comfortable spaces for the corpses were so currently bad that the dead being brought to the morgue would “die a second time.”
The overcrowding of the morgue is evident in the stench and odour that pervade the air and welcome any visitor to the facility.
The University of Abuja Teaching Hospital is a 350-bed facility with an assumed capacity for expansion to 500 beds. It evolved from a specialist hospital to a teaching hospital for the University of Abuja in 2006.
The facility was established to serve the medical needs of residents of Abuja and environs and to function as a tertiary health institution for the training of medical students of the University of Abuja.
SaharaReporters gathered that the condition of the morgue was now deplorable.
One of the morgue workers, who identified himself only as Abdullahi, said, “We are understaffed. We don’t have any modern facilities here. The power supply is awful. The beds are bad and we don't have enough spaces to keep all the corpses.
“If you want to show respect to your dead loved ones, don’t bring them here. The dead bodies here suffer a lot; like they die a second time. Some of the bodies are from road accidents while some are abandoned corpses. We are not able to embalm all of them. We have to dump some on the floor.”
“Another reason why the morgue is crowded is because the intensive care unit of the hospital has up to 50 per cent mortality rate. You hardly find people rushed in for emergencies that are brought out alive. So, as many more patients are dying in the hospital, the morgue is being overstretched, which is why we are here.
“The operating theatre of our hospital works for only six hours a day. Some patients have to wait for long hours and for days, in certain instances, before they can get their surgeries done. And when their situation becomes so critical, they may die before or during the surgeries,” another hospital worker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said.
SaharaReporters learnt that the Department of Hospital Services in the Federal Ministry of Health is the main culprit and has refused to adequately play its supervisory and regulatory roles.