By Ayodele Oni
Ondo State Government has carried out a mass burial of 496 unclaimed corpses at two of its health facilities.
Government explanation stated that the measure is part of efforts geared towards decongesting the morgues at the Akure and Ondo complexes of the State University of Medical Science Teaching Hospital (UNIMEDTH).
The Special Adviser to the State Governor on Health, Prof. Dayo Faduyile, who disclosed this in Akure, explained that the move was a follow up to an assessment your of morgues in the two hospitals.
Faduyile noted that he and some other government officials had recently embarked on an assessment tour of the morgues in the two health facilities and observed with dismay their gory state, having been jam-packed with unclaimed bodies spanning a year and above.
The Special Adviser said the development prompted him to put up a strong memo to the State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN on the urgent need to decongest and rehabilitate the morgues, which had literally turned to an eye-sore.
Faduyile added that Mr. Governor did not hesitate to approve the memo to carry out the proposed mass burial activities, so as to avoid an imminent outbreak of epidemic diseases in the state.
As a professional pathologist, Faduyile stated that his office followed all due processes by putting necessary machineries in place for a quality and hitch-free mass burial activities.
He said these include obtaining mass burial permit from the Chief Magistrate Court Akure, securing a parcel of land at Odigbo Local Government, from the State Ministry of Lands and Housing for the mass burial, advertising the mass burial on the print and electronic media, giving a 21-day period to reclaim the unclaimed bodies, in compliance with the extant laws of the land.
Others, according to Faduyile are the auditing of the unclaimed bodies in the morgues of Akure and Ondo UNIMEDTH complexes for record purposes and the certification of the unclaimed bodies to ascertain their individual causes of death.
“In all, 87 bodies were identified/known with their name tags while 409 were unknown and a total of 496 bodies underwent mass burial.
“The 21-day ultimatum as publicized on prints and electronic media commenced on the 1st of August and lapsed on the 21st of August, 2022.Thereafter, preparations for the mass burial commenced.
“On Friday, September 2nd, 2022, the mass burial was carried out, with the protection of security operatives and a handful of pressmen. The bodies were buried in a deep grave of 10 by 10 feet wide, and 18 feet depth, at the allocated land by the State government.”