One dead, nine admitted after eating poisonous cassava

What you need to know:

  • Suleiman Kintu, a resident of Nabukalu Sub County, says several people have developed complications after eating Magana cassava.
  • Mr Lawrence Akol, LC3 chairperson for Atutur Sub County called upon research institutions to sensitize farmers on possible dangers of eating immature cassava tubers.

A 10-year-old boy has died and four others admitted in Atutur Hospital, Kumi District after eating immature cassava following several days of hunger.
Silver Oloriat, pupil of Otipe Primary School, Kumi Municipal council died in the hospital while his mother and other four siblings are still fighting for their lives.
Sister Sophie Akurut, a medical worker at the hospital said the boy died due to dehydration resulting from excessive vomiting after eating local bread made from immature and improved cassava variety.
She identified those admitted as Veronica Amuge, Sicola Ajulong, Isaac and Rose Akurut, 35 who happens to be the mother of the other four victims.
“The survivors are getting on well but they are still weak,” Ms Akurut explained.

Ms Rose Akurut said that because of the food shortage she advised her deceased son to uproot some tubers from the immature cassava which they dried and later took to the grinding mill hopping to partake of it without any harm.
“After eating we all started vomiting before we were rushed to the hospital, where my elder son passed on,” she explained.


Mr Lawrence Akol, LC3 chairperson for Atutur Sub County called upon research institutions to sensitize farmers on possible dangers of eating immature cassava tubers.

In a related development five family members from Mpyenza village in Nabukalu Sub County in Bugiri District are fighting for their lives after eating suspected poisoned cassava.
The victims are Saufa Kagoya 20, Najura Kagoya 14, Haruna Mulata 10, Nahia Nakiranda 6 and Vivian Namutesa 4.

They are currently admitted at BMK Medical services health facility in Bugiri town. Aisha Namunana, the father of the five, says her children started vomiting on Monday evening shortly after eating supper made out of cassava and sorghum flour locally known as obwita.
"We ate supper together as a family but about an hour later, the children started vomiting and crying of headache. They became weak and by the time we brought them here some had lost consciousness,” said Namunana.
She explained to this reporter that they bought the flour from one of the shops in the village. Dr Charles Kalungu the in charge of BMK medical services says medical examinations show that the meal was poisonous.

Mr Edirisa Kyeyune, the Bugiri District Police Commander, suspects the family could have consumed a poisonous cassava variety locally known as Magana. According to Kyeyuna, Magana can be very disastrous once eaten prematurely.
"Last week, one person died after eating the same type of cassava and records show that at least two people are hospitalised," he said.
Suleiman Kintu, a resident of Nabukalu Sub County, says several people have developed complications after eating Magana cassava. He noted that many residents have resorted to eating premature cassava because of hunger.

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