HJFMRI was selected to support the Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance Network (CHAMPS) in Kenya. CHAMPS supports mortality studies focused on establishing probable cause of death and cross checking for errors in diagnosis or treatment, which study requires corpses to be sent to physical mortuaries, sometimes for minor processes like “MITS” (Minimally Invasive Tissue Sampling).
HJFMRI helped local stakeholders and study staff overcome challenges to the MITS procedures. The Siaya Morgue was seriously dilapidated, having a leaking roof, worn out and unsanitary floors, and crowded body storage racks. These conditions made it difficult to conduct specific MITS procedures at the site, and previously required expensive transportation to an alternate facility in Kisumu. In April 2021, the HJFMRI team provided technical guidance on the renovation of the Siaya County Referral Hospital and supervised the entire project to completion. Now that the facility is completed, MITS procedures are being conducted with greater ease and efficiency.
The Mobile Mortuary, which went into effect in July 2021, is another creative solution to overcome MITS research challenges in the field. In order to significantly lower costs and the increase the efficiency of MITS, HJFMRI created the Mobile Mortuary, a hygienic, ethical, and safe way to perform procedures like “MITS” offsite. The HJFMRI team in Nairobi, Kenya, successfully coordinated stakeholders and teammates alike in designing, procuring and equipping this mobile mortuary that is a first of the kind in the country and most likely the only one in the region.