A Nairobi court has allowed a Bungoma family to exhume the remains of their kin buried at the Lang’ata Cemetery without their consent by Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).
The family of Sabenzia Chepkesis Killong wants a post mortem conducted to establish the cause of death as well as a permit to rebury her remains at the family home in Ndalu location, Bungoma.
Last week, the Nairobi City County fought the idea of exhumation on grounds that the exercise would lead to the disinterring of 18 other bodies.
City Hall argued that the exercise would “create a public nuisance”.
County Solicitor Eric Odhiambo Abwao wondered how the family would recognise their kin, four months after burial.
“If the body of Sabenzia Chepkesis Killong was buried in the mass grave together with 18 other bodies as per exhibit TK4, then exhuming all the 19 bodies in order to take away one body shall be an exercise that may cause public nuisance against the provisions of the Public Health Act, Cap 242,” Mr Abwao said.
A fortnight ago, Dr Evans Kamuri, the KNH CEO, admitted to having interred the deceased after months searching.
“We would like to clarify that the deceased was admitted [to] the hospital under Sabenzia Kilong and not Spencier Kilong,” said Dr Kamuri.
During her stay at the facility, the hospital said, they searched for her family. She died on December 28.
The Public Health Act Cap 242 allows hospitals to dispose unclaimed bodies after 10 days. However, KNH extends the waiting period by 11 days making it a total of 21 days,” the statement added.
The body lay in waiting for four months and was released for interment on April 27, 2021.
“We understand the immense loss and emotional toll the death of a loved one causes, and we would like to extend our sincere condolences to the family of Sebenzia Killong.”
“While we remain open and invite any further information, at present all indications are that the hospital followed all due procedure in admission, hospital care, farewell admission and finally burial of this patient.”