RESIDENTS of Itezhi-tezhi are forced to bury their dead on the same day they die because the only mortuary in the area is not functional.
This came to light on Tuesday when Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet Peter Kasanda paid a courtesy call on Itezhi-tezhi district commissioner George Sichula.
“We have a situation where when one dies today, the family has to bury the same day,” Mr Sichula said.
He said the mortuary has not been functioning because it is obsolete.
“It is not working…it is an old mortuary which needs to be replaced,” Mr Sichula said.
He said there is urgent need for Government to procure new mortuary equipment to cater for the increasing population of Itezhi-tezhi.
And Dr Kasanda said it is sad that the people of Itezhi-tezhi are forced to bury the dead the same day they die because the mortuary is not working.
Dr Kasanda said had health authorities budgeted for rehabilitation of the mortuary or construction of a new one, the challenges being experienced would not have been there.
“Fridges have been breaking down and not planned for and we now have a situation where bodies have to be disposed of there and then,” Dr Kasanda said.
Itezhi-tezhi district medical officer Mulenga Kaoma said her office has been budgeting for the maintenance of the mortuary every year.
Dr Mulenga said the mortuary is old and a new one is urgently required.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health plans to construct a new hospital in Itezhi-tezhi.
“The district hospital has been planned for 2015,” Dr Kasanda said in response to appeals by Itezhi-tezhi residents on the need for Government to construct a hospital in the area.