2 Oct 2013

PNG authorities urged to publish monthly bulletins on claimed bodies

7:54 pm on 2 October 2013

There's a call in Papua New Guinea for the authorities in the two main cities to publish monthly lists of people whose bodies have not been claimed from hospital morgues.

The call comes amid preparations in Port Moresby and Lae for mass burials, mostly of the bodies of victims of HIV/AIDS.

The founder of a non-governmental organisation that cares for children orphaned by the disease says stigma around infection remains and people still abandon their relatives.

But the Friend Foundation's Tessie Soi says the authorities must also take a more proactive role in advising relatives about their deceased.

"Like I know with the last burial when the list came out there was one person that the familiy didn't know anything about until his name came out in the papers. They thought that he had remarried and gone to another province. So that was about it, they just thought that he refused to, you know, get in touch with his family. They hadn't known that he had actually died in hospital."

Tessie Soi says there should also be assistance for families who cannot afford funeral costs.