Five die of aflatoxin in Makueni district

By Hussein Salesa

FIVE people, among them two children, are reported to have died from aflatoxin food poisoning in Makueni district within a span of one week.

Aflatoxin menace has so far killed 87 people since it was first reported two years ago.

Confirming the deaths, Makueni Medical Officer of Health (MoH), Dr Francis Musyoki said the two children showed critical symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning and died at the Makueni District Hospital, while three other people died at home. He said two other people were treated at Makindu Sub-District Hospital.

Dr Musyoki said samples of the highly mouldy maize collected from the family barns have been sent to Government Chemist for analysis, adding that public health officials have been ordered to inspect all the maize stocks in the area.

Meanwhile, residents of Merti and Sericho divisions in Isiolo District have lost their livestock to what is suspected to be outbreaks of East Coast fever and trypanosomiasis.

Veterinary Department confirmed outbreaks of the two diseases within the Meru National Park, and suspect the same could have spread to the neighbouring regions.

But the pastoralists, together with the district livestock officer Ibrahim Adan, believe the deaths could have been caused by the sudden lush grass that sprout following the heavy rains.

A councillor from the area, Hassan Golicha of Korbesa ward, claimed that about 2,000 animals had died during the last one month.

A herder Kini Duba from Sericho collapsed as he recounted how his entire herd of cattle perished during the biting drought that had hit the area.

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