The police usually have five pathologists conducting postmortems on more than 15 bodies brought into the KCCA mortuary, every day. Last year alone, Dr Byaruhanga said they conducted autopsies on 4,152 human bodies at KCCA mortuary which translates to each pathologist examining 75 to 90 bodies every month.
About 500 bodies go unclaimed at the Kampala Capital City Authority – KCCA mortuary every
year, according to lead police pathologist, Assistant Inspector General of
Police – AIGP Dr Moses Byaruhanga.
The police usually have five pathologists conducting postmortems on more
than 15 bodies brought into the KCCA
mortuary, every day. Last year alone, Dr Byaruhanga said they
conducted autopsies on 4,152 human bodies at KCCA mortuary which translates to
each pathologist examining 75 to 90 bodies every month.
According to Dr Byaruhanga, the Uganda police
force has18 pathologists split across the country. Only 12 of these are
active. He explains that it is overwhelming for a single pathologist to examine 90
bodies a month, in comparison to countries like South Africa, where a pathologist examines only four bodies a week.
Dr Byaruhanga says that because of such a huge number of bodies and the limited storage capacity at the KCCA
mortuary, they resolved that all bodies unclaimed within
four days must be buried in city cemeteries.
//Cue in; “In
Dr Byaruhanga says some of the bodies are unclaimed due to lack of identification documents. This is mainly in deaths that result from drowning, road accidents or collapsed buildings. There are so
many people who move around without identification documents. If they died in
an accident or collapse dead, there is no way of identifying the person," he said.
But Dr Byaruhanga says it is almost impossible to refer to the databank at the National Identification Registration Authority – NIRA to
identify bodies, because of the few
pathologists who are always overwhelmed.
Byaruhanga says it would be somehow possible if they had enough storage
capacity of at least 200 bodies since crosschecking with NIRA would be taking
some hours. But without increased body storage capacity and increased number of
pathologists, Dr Byaruhanga insists more bodies will go unclaimed.
Cue in; “But I
Cue out…fresh bodies coming in.”//
spokesperson Gilbert Kadilo said it is upon police to request for the
information for purposes of identifying unclaimed bodies and the authority
would make it available at any time. Kadilo adds that the registration of
person Act allows government agencies, departments and private entities such as
Banks to access the information.
//Cue in; “so,
the law provides…
we shall provide.”//
Kadilo says they are also constrained
in terms of human resource but hastens to add that they are developing their technology interfaces to connect
with NIRA just like telecoms and banks so that such examinations are done via
interfaces than using the physical human resource.