A six year-old girl has died and 12 members of her family are being treated in hospital after eating beef and mushrooms either of which is suspected to have been poisonous. The beef was bought from a supermarket in the district. North-Western Province Commissioner of Police Hudson Namachila said in a statement yesterday that police are probing the matter, which was reported on Monday.
Mr Namachila said Chipoya Sandondi reported that on December 8, 2019 at around 11:00 hours, he bought two packets of beef from a local supermarket in Mushitala and went with it to his farm in Kankasa. The beef was cooked the following day and consumed by 13 family members at around 13:00 hours. They also ate some mushrooms.
“Later on Tuesday between 02:00 hours and 04:00 hours, all the thirteen family members who consumed the beef and mushroom developed symptoms of severe abdominal pains, diarrhoea and vomiting, and were rushed to Mushitala urban clinic from which they were referred to Solwezi General Hospital,” he said.
He said six-year-old Sedina Gracious Kaumba died upon arrival at Solwezi General Hospital. “Those who were admitted are Sarah Nkumba, 20, and Ruth Chipoya, 23, who is also carrying a pregnancy which is in advanced stage. The pregnant woman is still admitted in the maternity ward,” Mr Namachila said. He named the other family members as Chipoya Sandondi, 63, Fredah Kisogi, 61, Cleopatra Mafamu, 17, Marvelous Kajingu, 11, Kisonge Mwanafwema, 10.
Others are Jackson Chipoya, 8, Esther Mwanafwema, 7, Mirriam Kajingu, 5, Albert Kaumba, 3, and an eleven-month-old baby, Dismas Kaumba. These were treated as outpatients. “The poison is suspected to be in the beef because two other family members who also had a meal but only ate mushrooms were not affected,” Mr Namachila said. He said samples of the suspected poisoned beef were handed over to the district health office for an independent investigation. The girl’s body was deposited in the Solwezi General Hospital