African Press International (API)

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Kenya: Four children die after eating cassava, police start probe

Posted by African Press International on September 18, 2016

NELCON ODHIAMBO -1 | nation news Kenya. Sunday, September 18, 2016

Four children died on Sunday after eating cassava in Uhuru Village, Siaya County, the previous day.

It is suspected the cassava was poisonous.

A fifth child was taken to the Siaya County Referral Hospital where she is being treated.

The children were identified as Vivian Otieno, 17, Stephen Otieno, 12, Christine Otieno, 11, and Calvins Otieno, 8.

Their father, Mr Sylvanus Otieno, is a teacher at Ojola Primary School in Gem Sub-County.

Their mother, Mrs Penninah Akoth Ouma, said the children had the cassava for lunch and supper on Saturday.

She said in the night they started having breathing difficulties and vomiting.

“It’s painful to lose my four children. I want an inquest into their deaths,” she said.

Mrs Ouma, a secretary at the nearby Ojola Secondary School, told Nation she left for work on Saturday morning.

“I left my children at home and they decided to go to the farm to harvest some cassava. They ate some of it raw and carried some home, which they prepared for lunch,” she said.

Mrs Ouma added that when she returned home in the evening everything was normal until about 11pm, when the children started complaining of stomach ache, vomiting and having difficulty in breathing.

They rushed the children to the nearby Ashburn Community Dispensary for First Aid before taking them to the Siaya County Referral Hospital.

She said the children started dying from 9am on Sunday morning.

The fifth child, Roseline Flavian Otieno (12), is responding to treatment at the hospital.

Mrs Ouma called on police to investigate the circumstances behind their deaths, arguing that everyone in the family ate the meal.

“It is unfortunate that the children died when all of us ate the cassava and we are not complaining of any health problems. I do not understand how this can happen,” said Mrs Ouma.

Siaya police boss Ancient Kaloki said the children’s bodies are at the Siaya County Referral Hospital and police have started investigations into the deaths.

Mr Kaloki urged parents to monitor what their children eat to avoid similar cases in future.

“We received reports that the four children died after consuming poisonous cassava. We have launched investigations to establish if the cassava was indeed poisonous,” said the police boss.

African Press International, (API)

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