The Managing Director of the Lashibi Funeral Home, Dr Andrew Arkutu, has called on the government to come up with a comprehensive policy to regulate the activities of mortuary service providers and funeral homes in the country.
The absence of a clear policy framework to regulate the mortuary and funeral services industry, he said, accounted for the proliferation of such businesses across the country.
According to him, most of the industry players did not adhere to professional standards and best practices, and that, he said, posed serious health implications to the operators and persons who resided in the areas where such businesses operated.
Dr Arkutu made the remarks at a press conference in Accra last Wednesday to make public a business partnership programme between the Lashibi Funeral Home and the Dodge Company Limited (DCL), a UK-based supplier of funeral supplies and products.
Under the partnership, the Lashibi Funeral Home will become the sole distributor for the DCL products in the country.
“So many mortuaries are springing up all over the place without any regulation.
It appears nobody really cares and it must be a cause for concern for all of us because there are public health implications that come with the situations.
“If we are really concerned about the health of those who patronise the services of funeral homes and people living close to such facilities, then we must implement a plan that will enforce standards,” Dr Arkutu stated.
Dr Arkutu bemoaned the absence of a recognised institution or training programme for personnel who undertook mortuary services.
He observed that for years, persons who handled the dead had been regarded as casuals who did not require any expert skill in their work.
He said the funeral services industry, like any other work, required some amount of training to enable its operators to appreciate their role in society and how necessary it was for them to be professional in their work.
Dr Arkutu said there were numerous economic opportunities in the funeral services industry, adding that what was needed to fine-tune their activities was a structured platform that would make it easy for interested persons to take up the trade and make a living out of it.
“Taking great care of our departed is the reason why we are in business. We cannot achieve perfection in this if we continue to neglect persons who play a critical role in the embalming process,” he said.
For his part, the International Sales Director of DCL, Mr Matthew Hall, explained that the decision to establish a base in Ghana stemmed from a desire to contribute towards providing quality service delivery in the country’s funeral services industry.
He said most mortuary service providers in the country operated on a small scale and, thus, did not import products on a large scale, hence the decision to partner a local service provider to extend services to them.