Several bereaved families preserving their dead at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) on Monday thronged the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital to withdraw their corpses.
They feared the pending strike of mortuary workers will deal a devastating blow to their funeral plans and in the worse case, the shape of the remains.
The family members, most of whom were clad in red and black funeral clothes, told Ultimate FM’s Fatau Bayaga, they were transporting the corpses to private facilities with others intending to bury their dead before Thursday.
“The COVID-19 prevented us from taking and burying our corpses so if the mortuary workers decide to go on strike it will affect many of us,” a worried member of a bereaved family lamented.
Another person pointed out: “My uncle died yesterday and I am here to remove the corpse to a different facility. We will plead with the government to hear the workers out because this will affect a lot of people.
“It’s the body of my father-in-law that we are preparing to take to Emina Hospital Morgue. If we delay a bit, it will affect us, and taking the body out will be a problem,” another bemoaned.
The Mortuary Workers Association of Ghana (MOWAG) has announced all its members are laying down their tools effective Thursday, October 1.
They complain the Ministry of Health has failed to resolve long-standing concerns of conditions of service and the unhealthy working environments endured by their members.
The Ashanti Regional Chairman of the Mortuary Workers Association of Ghana, Ebenezer Asirifi, asserted that they will only halt the strike if the government meets their demands immediately,
The chairman accused the government of reneging on its promise of improving their working conditions, which include poor salaries, lack of personal protective equipment, and poor working environment.
“When you go to some of the morgues you will find out that they don’t even have equipment and gloves. We have met with the government several times and nothing has been done. That’s why we have planned to go on strike,” he explained.
In March last year, members of the Association embarked on a sit-down strike on the same issue, but an intervention by the Ministry of Health and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission caused them to suspend the action