Bereaved families are enduring protracted periods of mourning before burying their loved ones as Zimbabwe only has three forensic pathologists, the Home Affairs ministry has said.
Forensic pathology focuses on determining the cause of death by examining a corpse.
A post mortem is performed by a medical examiner, usually during the investigation of criminal law cases and civil law cases in some jurisdictions.
Responding to an outcry from legislators in Parliament on Wednesday, Home Affairs deputy minister Mike Madiro admitted that the situation was unsustainable.
“Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House that there are only three pathologists in the whole country. There are two in Harare and one in Bulawayo,” he said.
He added:“There is little doubt that such a situation is unhealthy and we believe that the Ministry of Health may wish to look into this matter so that it is improved.”
Health and Child Care deputy minister John Mangwiro said there was need to encourage “our populace or the doctors to specialise in that area.”
“Although this is not policy issue. The forensic pathologists are specialised. It is a specialised area. The other pathologists are there but those to do the forensic investigations or pathology, these are pathologists trained to do investigations and trace a crime to a probable cause,” Magwiro said.
“These are trained to say okay, this person has been run over by a car but we look at the blood or whatever position or other findings to say no, he was actually run over by a car after being murdered.“
“So these are forensic pathologists. It is a super specialised area so we need to encourage more training in that direction, but normally these are voluntary people who would want to specialise in that field because it is a supper specialised area.”
He continued: “It is quite different from the ordinary pathologist who can just look at your brains and say you had a huge stroke or you had a big heart attack. So I think it is to do with encouraging our populace or the doctors to specialise in that area.” Zim Morning Post