Despite the efforts being made to get rid of ratsat the Tema GeneralHospital (TGH) mortuary in the Greater Accra Region, the WeekendFinder newspaper has learned that the rodents have refused to go away.
A source at the facility revealed last week that the rats had been very difficult to exterminate.
Even though the workers of the facility occasionally fumigate the inside of the morgue, the ‘stubborn’ rats have refused to go away because theyseekrefuge in the over-grown weeds around the facility.
When the Weekend Finder visited the facility last week, it was discovered that its northern and eastern ends were over-grown with weeds, and this is where the rats hide until nightfall when the promisesof the mortuary is very quiet with no movements. They then emerge fromthe weedsand through small openings, enter the facility to nibble on dead bodies on the floorof the morgue.
“Sometimes when you enter the mortuary, you see a rat or two run past very fast and you wonder how these rodents got to enter the mortuary,” the source disclosedto the Weekend Finder at the facility.
In 2010, the TGH mortuarywas in the newswhen it was reported that ratshad been chewing dead bodies; a report the administration of the TGH denied.
The complaint of rats chewing dead bodies was made by bereaved families who sent the remains of their dead relatives to the facility forpreservation.
The Weekend Finder has gathered that since its construction about 59 years ago, the TGH mortuaryhas not seen any rehabilitation works excerpt some occasional painting of the exterior walls any time the matter comes up in the media.
A couple of years ago, following bad press about the facility in the media, the then Greater Accra Accra Regional Minister, Emmanuel Nii Armah Ashietey, intervened in September of 2011 and asked the Tema Metropolitan Assemblyto allocate some of its 2011 supplementary budget and also utilized some of its 2009 allocations of the District Development Fund (DDF) for the construction of a new mortuary for the TGH.
Mr. Ashietey made the intervention during a tourof the health facility with the then Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE),Mr. Robert Kempes Ofosuware, the Tema District Labour Council Chairman, Mr.Wilson Aganah,and some journalists.
Mr. Armah Ashietey was reported as saying that the “TMA must treat the mortuary issue with all urgency. I charge you to factor the building of a new mortuary into your supplementary budget to prevent any health and other related problems the deplorable state of the mortuarywas likely to bring.”
To show her displeasure at the deplorable state of the mortuary, Madam Elizabeth Amy Dogbey, the TGH Administrator,who hosted the Minister and his entourage on that tour, tookthe teamto the mortuary.
However, the pungentsmell that greeted the Minister at the entrance of the mortuary on that day preventedhimfrom entering. He described the situation as verybad and shocking.
When the Weekend Finder visited the facility last week, it was discovered that the situation has not changed.
“On several occasions we communicatedto our administration our challenges, and they tell us to be patient as very soon, we will be moving to a new ultra modern mortuary facility. Administration says they can, therefore, not commit any funds into doing any major work on this one,” a source at the mortuary told the WeekendFinder.
If this is the case, the few,mortuary attendants would have to contend with the presence of the rats which the irregular fumigation of the mortuary premises is not exterminating.
“The situation would compel people to send their dead relatives to private funeral homes to prevent rats and other rodents fromfeeding on the remains of their beloved ones,” the source added.