Abortion is the leading cause of death of more than 80 infants whose unclaimed bodies are set to be disposed by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) this month.
Out of the 85 unclaimed bodies of infants, 35 are made up of unknown foetuses that were aborted by their mothers in different places in Nairobi with Pangani, Kasarani and the Eastlands area including Kayole, Kariobangi and Embakasi the worst affected.
Worryingly, the more than 30 abortion deaths were reported to the various police stations in the capital city within a span of only six months between April and October this year.
The statistics paint a grim picture of a worrying rate of abortion in Nairobi, especially in informal settlements.
The figures back the high numbers of foetuses that were recovered by a team of youth that have been cleaning the expansive Nairobi River where more than 15 out of the 24 recovered bodies were foetuses with Korogocho area worst affected.
Natural causes contributed to the death of only two infants, infanticide one, drowning two, a further three died from unknown cause while seven of the infants died of suddenly.
For the 34 infants who were carried to term, pneumonia was identified as the leading cause of death with nine succumbing to the disease with all having died between a day and one month old.
Malaria contributed to four deaths while the remaining ones died of other health complications including chest problems.
The 85 bodies of the infants are part of the 188 unclaimed bodies set to be disposed by NMS before the end of November with 166 lying at the City Mortuary.
Another 22 of such bodies lie in Mbagathi Hospital Mortuary and Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital with nine and 13 unclaimed bodies respectively.
Consequently, the Major General Mohammed Badi-led administration has given members of the public seven days to come forward and identify and collect the bodies failure to which they will seek authority to dispose them.
“The following 166 unclaimed bodies at City Mortuary, nine at the Mbagathi Funeral Home and 13 at Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital from the date of collection awaiting collection. Pursuant to Public Health Act cap 242 (subsidiary; Public Health (Public Mortuaries) Rules 1991) (2), interested members of the public are asked to identify and collect the below named bodies within seven days, failure to which NMS will seek authority for disposal,” read a notice by NMS in the local dailies on Friday.
Of the 81 bodies of adults at City Mortuary, 19 were as a result of accident, 17 through sudden death, 11 were as a result of drowning, mob justice accounted for eight deaths, murder six, shooting three while natural death accounted for only seven deaths.
In July, NMS issued a seven-day notice for the public to collect 159 unclaimed bodies lying at City Mortuary and Mbagathi Hospital Funeral Home.
This followed a similar notice by the same office in May for collection of 185 unclaimed bodies in City Mortuary, Mama Lucy and Mbagathi Hospitals.
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