Two deaths have been reported in Thika, Kiambu county following consumption of ugali thought to have been made from contaminated maize flour.
The two, who were ages three and 17, died after eating ugali made with maize flour that was likely gathered at a nearby dumpsite where villagers scrounge for food, Kang’oki, in Kamenu district.
On Tuesday afternoon, the teenager passed away while seeking care at Thika Level Five Hospital.
Three of the seven patients receiving care at the institution, according to hospital administrator Dr. Waturi Kibuti, are in critical condition.
He told the media that some of them arrived at the clinic unconscious, while others were having trouble breathing.
“We received eight patients from the Kang’oki dumpsite area in Thika in our casualty section. At the moment, one patient is critical, three are very sick while four are stable. We are optimistic that they will recover,” she said.
It is believed the victims collected the contaminated maize flour on Saturday last week after it was dumped by a lorry that came from Nairobi.
“Medical investigations to establish what affected the victims have been launched. We have also dispatched public health officers and environment officers to the dumpsite and Kiganjo village to help unravel the tragedy,” said Dr Kibuti,
Miriam Njambi, the mother of the deceased child, said she returned home from work and found her child in bed writhing in pain.
“I asked about what had happened and was told that they had eaten ugali made from flour collected at the dumpsite,” Njambi recounted.
She said that poverty and the high cost of living had pushed many people to the dumpsite where they scavenge.
“The authorities should find out the company that dumped the contaminated maize flour at the dumpsite,” she said.
Simon Kioko, who fed on the contaminated food, said they collected the maize flour last Saturday