Partner sets up temporary morgue in Terego as health status deteriorate
todayAugust 10, 2021
By Federick Dramadri
A development partner in Terego district has established a temporary morgue as a coping mechanism as the district grapples with limited support to health service delivery and the burden posed by the influx of refugees. The structure was set up by International Rescue Committee IRC a Non-Governmental Organization handling health services in the refugee settlements across West Nile Sub region. It is located about 500 meters from Yinga Health III in Odupi Sub County near in a nearby forest, in a discreet location and away from homes to avoid distress to local residents. Terego district is grappling with establishment of mortuaries as the highest ranked facility is a Health Center IV which is not mandated to set up a mortuary, according to the ministry of health guidelines. However the development has raised eyebrows among the local leadership, with some saying this compromises the rights of the dead. The Secretary Finance Planning and Administration Jackson Abiria say that many partners took the advantage of the corona virus restrictions that hindered their supervisory roles as councilors to put several temporary structures that are not recommended and not approved by the council. He therefore calls upon partners to consult with stakeholders before establishing such structures. “They erected a mortuary out of tents which is not into the shape of a mortuary when you go there to see the mortuary being erected using poles you will know that there’s a problem here even one time a dead body was put there and was eaten by rats which is not right, that’s why we complained. We don’t want temporary structures we want permanent structures”, Abiria said. The woman Member of Parliament Terego District Rose Obiga warns that any partner planning to put temporary structures under the disguise of helping the refugees must stop or venture into other avenues other than construction works. “There’s a mortuary in Yinga if you put a dead body there I swear a dog will eat it, we don’t want our people to be eaten by dogs. I have reiterated to the implementing Partners. I don’t want temporary structures in Terego District we want to change the face of the Old Terego under Arua district and improve Services in the new district”. Obiga reacted Efforts made to reach International Rescue Committee IRC project Coordinator and Media Officer were futile by press time, but sources at the organization say many people have taken this to tarnish the Organization’s image. Whereas, Richard Jefferson Mahulo an official with Windle International Uganda-the leading UNHCRs implementing partner in education says sometimes the temporary structures are expected due to emergencies and lack of ready funds but assures the leaders of construction of permanent structures soon. “When it comes to emergencies, you begin with temporary structures because the funding may not be there but with time the temporary structures will phase off because once you’re at development level it means that you have stabilized and you will find permanent structures. As we talk now temporary structures are reducing and we want to reduce them further but this comes with funding”, he said.
COVER PHOTO: The mortuary that was established near Yinga Health III in Terego district. Photo by Federick Dramadri.