ARUSHA, TANZANIA, The names Juliet and Juliana caused a major confusion at the moruary of the Mount Meru Hospital here, resulting in a baby who died after birth to be wrongly buried in the mining hills and the body had to be exhumed at night.

Labels on the cherubs bore the names of each baby's mother, one being Juliet and another Juliana, but when the attendants passed the body of one of the deceased to relatives, they overlooked the near-similarities in the names and gave them the wrong baby.

Juliana Nada is the mother of a baby boy who died before being named, prompting the label to bear the mother's first name.

I had given birth at Levolosi Hospital but the child had difficulty in breathing and was thus referred to Mount Meru Hospital, where he died, she said.

Francis Coaster, the mortuary attendant at the regional (provincia) hospital, said the family of Juliana Nada had gone there to take the body but upon searching the entire morgue, it was never found and even trying to trace the baby back to the hospital ward did not yield any result.

It subsequently transpired that after the baby's death, he was never taken to the mortuary but people believed to be relatives picked it from the hospital ward without the mother knowing anything and took him for burial in Mirerani Hills, said Coaster.

Two babies died last Sunday, one belonging to Juliet and another to Juliana and Juliana's baby was taken to Mirerani where it was buried on Sunday afternoon. When the blunder was discovered, the body was exhumed at night and brought back to Arusha early on Monday morning.

Dr Elias Mashalla, the acting officer-in-charge at Mount Meru Hospital, said it was wrong for people to hastily pick up babies, dead or alive, without consulting the authorities and in respect of dead bodies, it was important for people to wait until they are first delivered to the morgue.

The Mirerani family then took their rightful baby for burial in Mirerani while the other child was taken Maroroni ward of Arumeru for a similar purpose.