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One die, 40 hospitalized after eating an uninspected meat in Taveta 

Mr. Solomon Adagara speaks to his wife from the hospital bed where he was admitted after eating contaminated meat.

One person died and 40 others were hospitalized after eating meat from a dead cow in Kalambani village in Challa area of Taveta Sub-County.

The 11-year old boy died on Sunday while receiving treatment at Taveta sub-county hospital where he and other residents had been rushed after complaining of severe stomachache, diarrhoea and breathlessness.

Some 31 residents were treated and discharged while nine were admitted in critical but stable condition. The medics said they were out of danger. Amongst those still admitted are four children, two women and three men.

Teams from the public health department and disease surveillance in Taveta combed the village in search of people who might have eaten the contaminated meat.

Speaking to KNA at the hospital on Sunday, Mr. Solomon Adagara, a victim, said they had been given the meat by a neighbor whose cow died on Friday from unknown causes.

On Saturday, he experienced severe stomach pains and fever that he tried to fight by administering home-made remedy to no avail. On Sunday morning, the diarrhoea and fever intensified and he was rushed to hospital for treatment.

At the same time, dozens of others who had eaten the meat were also having similar symptoms which prompted a village-wide operation to ferry them to the nearest dispensary. The local chief liaised with the hospital for ambulance services that came and rushed the villagers to the hospital.

“We just ate meat from the dead cow that our neighbor gave us. That is what started this problem,” he said.

The owner of the cow has been arrested and will be arraigned in court on Monday with County Police Commander Fred Ochieng saying the public should avoid eating meat that has not been inspected.

He added that the drought might kill some animals but insisted the wellbeing and safety of the residents came first.

Ms. Monica Mueni, a mother whose child was admitted, said her daughter had eaten some pieces of the infected meat as she went to school. She added that the child had tried to conceal the symptoms for fear of reprimand until the pain became agonizing.

“I wouldn’t have known about it had the pain not persisted,” she said.

Mr. Emmanuel Roge, Nurse Manager in Taveta Hospital, said the medics had managed to stabilize the patients and discharged most of them.

He added that the ones still being held at the hospital were stable. He also said that some pieces of the meat, and stool, urine and spit specimens from patients have been taken to the lab for analysis.

Mr. Benson Sikondo, public health officer for Challa Ward said his team has conducted sensitization meetings with the locals and urged those who might have eaten the meat to urgently seek medical attention. He stated that eating carcasses was forbidden as was eating meat that was not inspected by meat inspectors.

He allayed fears that the dead cow might have died from Anthrax stating that the disease was highly fatal. He however said conclusive reports would be known once the lab results were received.

“We told them that carcasses are dangerous especially when there is discharge from mouth, nose, anal orifices and ears,” he said.
By Wagema Mwangi

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