By Ndidi Chukwu
The proliferation of mortuary, embalmment and funeral homes in several parts of the country has been condemned by Dr. Said Amin, Head of histopathology department of the National Hospital Abuja. Amin said Nigeria is yet to develop a standardized guideline of operation for mortuary services in the nation. Speaking in Abuja at Histopathologists training, he noted that mortuary practice has become a profession in developed countries, and called for standardized practice in Nigeria which could boost job creation with appropriate regulation and oversight.
“Ensuring proper career progression and job satisfaction and fulfillment of those in the profession is the best way to make the job attractive” Amin decried the cultural influence which has made mortuary services an isolated profession in the medical field.
“mortuary technicians and assistance are yet to be categorized as recognized cadre in the scheme of service of civil service in Nigeria” this according to him has resulted to unofficial practices due to uniform standard training module and no stipulated guideline for entry into the profession.
Amin said the absence of a standardized practice makes it difficult when medico-legal implications of issues that may arise with a dead body happen thereby leading to protracted cases in court and often people are made to pay very expensive terms when found guilty of some unprofessional treatment of dead bodies.
Chief Medical Director of the Abuja National Hospital Dr. Jeff Momoh said the problem with mortuary services in Nigeria boarders on cultural barriers, the fact that Africans do not have love for dead bodies and so medical personnel often will not specialize in histopathology.
“we need to go back to the basics to train people in the different cader of the profession, make them understand that a dead body is also important and is still a patient, often once a person dies no one cares about the body anymore people start thinking of burials, and so mortuary assistance are yet to be trained to understand this fact, this is a general problem in the country