Very few Kenyans are willing to be trained and work as morticians and morgue attendants, the Funeral Service Association of Kenya (FSAK)has said.
According to FSAK chairman Mr Ezra Olaky sthe current workers in the sector are unqualified and lack the required skills, while the sector suffers dire shortage..
“We have about 250 members in our association but there is still a shortage. We need close to 1,000 members to work in this sector. It is a huge one that requires more manpower,” he said.
The only training facility in the country is Chiromo and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret. Chiromo offers a three-month course.
“They (funeral homes) just want somebody who has worked in a mortuary, they have not pegged any minimum requirement or qualification. But we want to start with certificate and diploma holders. There is a gap that exists and we need to close it,” said Mr Olaky.
“We came together to ensure that we professionalise this industry. This is the 7th annual conference and we are happy with the support and the kind of knowledge we acquire from other parts of the world. We want to change the narrative that you can just work as a mortician without any qualification. When employed, they are never told their job description. Most of them learn on the job,” Mr Olaky added.
He said that morticians can become funeral directors, embalmers or be specialists in restorative art.
“We are engaging the government and various institutions like Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (Tvet) so that we can have a syllabus for morticians because we have a training of mortuary science. This industry needs dedication, passion and discipline,” he said.
FSAK was established in 1995 and seeks to assist in improvement of standards of service as well as ethics.