By The Insight Post Uganda
Tragedy has occurred in Mukono District after two pupils lost their lives in a suspected case of food poisoning during a Primary Seven Leavers Party. Police have confirmed the incident occurred at Trekk Green School in Nenyode village, Nakifuma town council.
The incident, which transpired on the 12th and 13th of October successively, has sent shockwaves through the local community and raised critical questions about food safety.
The victims have been identified as Andrew Kakumba, a 13-year-old Primary Seven candidate and Victor Bongore, a 10-year-old in Primary One both residents of Luvule village in Nakifuma.
Sadly, these children passed away while being rushed to the hospital. The school handed over their bodies to their grief-stricken families, but the police intervened to ensure postmortem examinations were conducted at the Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA mortuary Mulago.
Preliminary investigations have unveiled that on the 11th of October, 2023, Norah Nagujja, a teacher at the school and head of the primary and nursery sections, brought homemade cooked food to serve the children. This meal included chicken, sweet potatoes, and rice.
However, the festive occasion soon took a gloomy turn as children who consumed the food began to experience abdominal pain, diarrhea, headaches, and dizziness. Prompt action by the school administration led to their immediate transfer to St. Francis Hospital-Naggalama for medical attention.
Dr. Julius Musinguzi of St. Francis Hospital reported that 19 victims arrived with symptoms that strongly pointed to food poisoning, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Although their conditions were manageable, they continued to experience discomfort and were being treated with fluid therapy and pain relievers.
Several other victims, including Catherine Nanyonjo, Leticia Nakasi, and Norah Nagguja, were transferred to Kayunga Hospital by the police for further treatment.
The incident affected a significant number of students, including day scholars who sought treatment at various healthcare facilities.
Luke Oweyesigyire, Deputy Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, disclosed that the police immediately launched an investigation, recording statements from multiple witnesses and collecting key evidence such as food remnants, suspected vomit, faecal matter, and swabs from the victims and the deceased.
The crime scene was meticulously examined, documented, and photographed. The Primary Leaving Examination (PLE) is scheduled for November 7th to November 9th, 2023.
This tragic incident mirrors another food poisoning outbreak that occurred in Mukono earlier this year, in July. Nakanyonyi Secondary School in Nakifuma Naggala Town Council witnessed over 400 students falling ill due to food poisoning.
Food poisoning, scientifically known as foodborne illness, arises from consuming contaminated or spoiled food and beverages. Such contamination can be attributed to harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, or toxins.
The symptoms of food poisoning can range from mild discomfort to severe and life-threatening conditions, varying based on the specific pathogen involved and the individual’s health.
Typical signs of food poisoning encompass nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, and dehydration. The onset of these symptoms may vary, with some individuals experiencing them shortly after consuming contaminated food, while others may exhibit delayed reactions.
It is crucial to acknowledge that food poisoning can impact anyone, but certain groups, such as young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems, are at higher risk of experiencing severe complications.
This tragic incident serves as a sobering reminder of the importance of food safety and vigilant oversight to protect the health and well-being of individuals, particularly the most vulnerable in our communities.