Risking lives to protect dead bodies – the story of morgue workers

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A mortuary is a room or building in which dead bodies are kept, for hygienic storage or for examination, until burial or cremation.

Working in a Ghanaian mortuary comes with lot challenges and myths which most are not true.

Mercy Okaija who started working as a mortuary attendant since she was 26 years lost her marriage because her husband was not interested in her line work.

“I’m single now, my husband left me because he was not interested in this job,” she said on the Day Show.

As a passionate mortuary attendant, Mercy’s main role in the morgue is to go to the ward to bring the dead body to the morgue, clean and balm it after the relatives have identified it and known the cause of death.

She has practiced this for years with higher risk of contracting diseases that can kill.

Emmanuel Adade who also works in the morgue as an undertaker has practiced it for years and worked on the body of key personalities including relatives of current and past president of Ghana.

Adade’s main role as an undertaker is to Bath, wash the body, put pant on them and stuff them with graphic to let the body fit in a suit.

Despite studying construction at Tertiary level, Emmanuel Adade prefers working at the mortuary to doing other things.

He explains that he took inspiration from a lady who worked on his late uncle to become an undertaker.

“Saw a woman dressing his uncle when he died and like it.

“I enjoy working on the dead body,” he told Berla Mundi on the Day Show.

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In their line of duty, they face numerous challenges including the chance of being infected with diseases that can kill them.

“Every work has a challenge but I think mine is more dangerous because you sometimes work on bodies that you don’t know the cause of death because both the doctor and the relative won’t come and tell you and you can contract some of the disease,” Mercy revealed to Berla Mundi.

In all of these, they disclosed their monthly isn’t really encouraging as they don’t earn more than Ghc1,000.

For them, every work is a calling so as spending hours working on dead bodies in the morgue to ensure they get a befitting burial.

By 3news.com