By Lorraine Anyango.
Welcome to Kwee Farewell Parlor, opening its doors for the first time to offer executive morgue services in the western Kenya region.
Kwee joins the likes of Lee Funeral Home and Montezuma to offer services that have not been available in the region before.
Kwee will be offering professional, reliable, and customized services including postmortem, Embalming, viewing, and forensic postmortem.
This parlor is the latest development at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) which has been officially opened by the Governor of Kisumu County, Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o.
JOOTRH now has the first modern morgue with racks in western Kenya, where you will not bump into bodies but will only view the body that you request.
“The JOOTRH morgue has been stretched to capacity since Kisumu has no city mortuary, so all bodies collected from different places by a police officer are preserved at JOOTRH.” Mr. Alex Ochieng, Director of Finance and Administration JOOTRH said.
To ease this burden, Kwee has a capacity of 48 bodies, however, the machine currently installed takes 24 bodies, it’s expected that another machine will be added in the next two years during the second phase of the project that will incorporate the building and furnishing of a chapel.
The parlor was put up at a cost of Ksh 13 million and is equipped with a machine worth Ksh 20 million donated by CDC through child health and mortality prevention surveillance (Champs) research which is leading in investigations on the cost of neonatal mortality, cost of post mortem and morgue services.
JOOTRH partnered with CDC to undertake post mortem for children under five years in efforts to establish the course of death among children.
“The state of the old mortuary was pathetic then and we felt that family members would not want to have their children bodies preserved there, so we decided to support the rehabilitation of the mortuary, however, JOOTRH opted to have a new morgue.” Dr. Dicken Ouma, Champs Kenya said.
The study settled on Kisumu and Siaya Counties since they have the highest number of child mortality in the world.
Data generated from Champs indicates that in Kisumu County 79 out of 1000 children die while under five years, while the infant mortality rate is 54 out of every 1000 children born, and the neonatal mortality rate stands at 39 per 1000 children.
The population in Kisumu under surveillance is 72,000 while the maternal mortality rate is 495 out of 100,000.
“Every family that consents that a post mortem be conducted on their children gets the mortuary fee paid, a hearse to transport the body home, and a contribution of Ksh 5000 to the family.” Dr. Ouma added.
The champs ‘ years of study have enabled JOOTRH to secure a CEABIS machine, which is the cooler with loaders, an electric postmodern table that shreds waste and uses both cold and hot water, and an embalming table among other machines.
Four parts of the machine will be dedicated to the study while members of the public will use the 20 remaining spaces.
Meanwhile, the hospital sold mortuary has also been renovated at a cost of Ksh 5 million. The asbestos roof has been replaced, the floor redone and the machines repaired and fresh painting is done.
The morgue has a superintended Mr. Richard Moracha, it has five other technical members of staff all of them under the leadership of Dr. Sava Solomon who is a pathologist.