Body stuck in UAE morgue as family can't afford repatriation costs

Body stuck in UAE morgue as family cant afford repatriation costs
Olivia Kilyokya cries while holding her deceased sister's photograph in Dubai. KT/Kiran Prasad

Sharjah - "I have the documents to release her and bring her body home, but I cannot afford it."

Follow us on Google News-khaleejtimes


Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Wed 23 Jan 2019, 9:50 PM

Last updated: Thu 24 Jan 2019, 8:49 AM

More than 25 days after an Ugandan woman died in a road accident here, her body is still in a hospital morgue as her family cannot afford to take it back home to Naguru, Uganda.

Olivia Nawbosa Nantale, the younger sister of victim Mariam Kilyokya, is in tears as she has been going from one government department to another, seeking help for the repatriation of her sister's remains. "I have the documents to release her and bring her body home, but I cannot afford it. The family she worked for is not willing to help, and insurance claims will take several months, if not years. I cannot wait that long," said Olivia, a 29-year-old who works as a school cleaner in Ajman.

Mariam's body is currently in a morgue at Al Qasimia Hospital in Sharjah. Olivia said she received the 'biggest shock of her life' when the Sharjah Police informed her that Mariam, 32, was killed in an accident on Al Ittihad Road on December 29, 2018.

The police said "the driver that caused the accident was arrested and the case was referred to the traffic public prosecution". According to a medical report from Al Qasimia Hospital, Mariam suffered severe internal bleeding and had multiple impact wounds all over her body.

Mariam, a widow, left her six children with her younger sister in Uganda to work as a housemaid in Sharjah. "She began to work as a maid in March 2018 and had left the job in October. After that, she was seeking another employment," Olivia said.

"The kids (aged 13, 11, nine, seven, five and three) are back home with our sister Sauda. Mariam came here to earn some money for her kids as their father died a few years ago. Now, the children do not have any parents," said Olivia as tears streamed down her face.

"After the accident, for two days, I didn't know what happened to her. I kept calling her on the phone and no one was picking up. On January 1, I was informed that she had died in an accident. It was an on-the-spot death. I could not even say goodbye to her."

More news from