Death at a funeral: 3 die in suspected food poisoning in Jinja

At least three people have been confirmed dead and 46 others hospitalised after allegedly eating poisoned food during a burial ceremony.

The tragedy occurred in Bukasami village, Buyengo town council in Jinja District during the burial of Sheik Ahamad Magumba, the area County Khadi.

The 46 survivors were admitted at Buwenge General Hospital after developing diarrhoea, vomiting and stomachache.

The Buwenge General Hospital Medical Superintendent, Dr Aggrey Bameka said the deceased include two children and an adult.

“We got 49 people and there were three deaths, two children and one adult.We referred five people to Jinja Regional Referral Hospital who were critically ill and we remained with others at the facility,’’ he said.

The deceased include; Suleiman Byanguwa,4,  Shamim Nangobi, 6, and Faisal Magumba, 20.

Dr Bameka said the patients’ conditions are improving and so far nine have been discharged.

“We have discharged nine children, the one we have on the ward, the symptoms have subsided, no diarrhoea, no vomit,’’ he said.

Dr Bameka said the patients have similar symptoms because they shared the same meal after the burial in the evening.

“What is common about these patients, they shared the meal, they had similar symptoms like abdominal pain, vomiting, convulsions and diarrhea, which is blood stained.” he said.

Dr Bameka added that they had inadequate medical supplies to handle the large number of patients who were admitted to the facility.

“National Medical Store has not yet supplied the facility with medical supplies in the two circles, we didn’t have what to use, patients were buying, and even politicians also contributed some supplies. We didn’t have drugs, cannulas, gloves, plasters and jink, people were vomiting blood, we had to clean every time,’’ he said.

Dr Bameka said four patients are sharing one bed because they are inadequate.

He said blood samples have been sent to the hub system in Kampala to ascertain the exact cause of the death.

Mr Samuel Akalyamawa, the area councillor, said they ferried 75 people suspected to have eaten poisoned food to Buwenge General Hospital and others to Jinja Referral Hospital.

Mr Akalyamawa said the incident is the first of its kind in the area.

Ms Jackline Nakilada, one of the patients said she ate rice at the burial but after some minutes she started vomiting.

“I ate rice with my other family members who had attended the burial but after some minutes, I started feeling stomach ache, vomiting, diarrhoea, and headache. I was taken to a clinic but the condition was not improving until when I was brought here,’’ she said.

Ambulances were seen ferrying patients from different villages in Buwenge Sub County in Jinja District taking them to Buwenge General Hospital.

The Kiira Region Police Spokesperson Mr James Mubi said they are investigating a case of suspected food poisoning in Buyengo town Council.

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