Kayunga- Seven members of the same family in Kayunga District are fighting for their lives after eating bread suspected to have been laced with poison.
The residents of Kamunye zone in Bukolooto Trading Centre, Kayunga Town Council, were on Wednesday taken to Ssuubi Medical Centre, a private clinic, in critical condition.
The victims were identified as Grace Nanono Nalongo and her children; Pauline Nakato, 21, Jovan Ssekungu, 4, Jovia Nakiryowa, 5, Juliet Nakungu,9, Hassan Kiggundu, 11, and Nayiga Faridah, 6.
“We bought bread and ate part of it during the day, and the remaining was kept for morning tea,” said Dan Wasswa, a family member.
Wasswa said while there were no immediate complications after eating the bread, trouble arose the following morning. He said after eating the remaining slices of bread, they immediately developed stomach complications, including vomiting, fever, general body weakness and diarrhoea.
He said they suspect that someone might have sneaked into the house and poisoned the bread.
Dr Wilson Mwanja, who is treating the victims, said all the signs point to eating contaminated food.
“We have treated them and they are responding to the treatment,” Dr Mwanja said, confirming that the source of infection was the bread.
“Those who consumed more bread than others are the ones in critical condition but those who ate less are now improving and three of them have been discharged,” he said.
The District Police Commander, Mr Bob Kagarura, said they are facing challenges in investigating the case since the exhibit (entire loaf of bread) was consumed by the victims.
“We have no exhibit to help us in our investigations but we are still following up the matter seriously,” Mr Kagarura said.
Mr Geoffrey Sserwanga, the head of the family, who did not eat the bread because he was not at home, said he did not have any disagreement with somebody in the area and wondered what could have led to the incident.
“I am surprised because I have never quarrelled with someone at the village and I’m wondering how this happened,” Mr Sserwanga said.
Cases of food poisoning in Uganda are on the rise. The incident comes months after another family of five in Nakaseke District died of alleged food poisoning.
1.3 Million cases reported annually-WHO
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Uganda is experiencing an increase in food related diseases, with at least 1.3 millions Ugandans diagnosed with food borne diseases across the country annually. This represents 14 per cent of all the diseases treated each year.
Foodborne disease, popularly referred to as food poisoning, is any illness resulting from the consumption of contaminated food.