Athi River: 8 pupils hospitalized after eating poisonous wild fruits

Eight pupils have been hospitalized after reportedly eating poisonous wild fruits in Athi River, Machakos. The 8 are among 51 children from Kanaani Integrated Primary and Junior School rescued after falling ill immediately after they consumed the fruit on Tuesday.

Athi River South sub-county police commander Jos Mudavadi said the matter was reported to Athi River police station as a suspected poisoning incident by the school’s head teacher David Sangare.

“It was reported by the school head teacher David Sangare that at around 1.30 pm, on Tuesday Grade 2 pupils were having their lunch in the school when they picked fruits from an unknown tree which is behind their classroom. The pupils started complaining of stomachache and vomiting,” Mudavadi told the press through a phone call.

Mudavadi said a team of police officers led by Athi River OCS rushed to the scene and established that the said children had been affected. He disclosed that all the affected children were rushed to Athi River Level 4 Hospital for medication.

Machakos Health executive Daniel Yumbya together with Athi River MCA Jeremiah Kaloi and Area Assistant Chief Martin Ngomo among other leaders visited the hospital to assess the situation. Yumbya said they received information on the incident at around 3.30 pm on Tuesday.

“We received information that there were pupils from Kanaani Integrated Primary and Junior School in Athi River who had signs of vomiting and stomachache after eating unknown wild fruit. We mobilized and sent ambulances which together with police rushed the victims to Athi River Level 4 hospital,” Yumbya said.

Yumbya added that the hospital received patients in two batches.”We received 24 pupils in the first batch and later 27 others. As of now, we have received 51 pupils at the facility,”

The CECM noted that 22 were taken to the facility in serious condition. They were vomiting and diarrhoearing while 37 others had mild ailments.

According to Yumbya, 27 doctors and nurses had been mobilized and were attending to the patients noting that the patients had been administered intravenous (IV) injections together with isthmians orals and zinc. Those who were in mild condition were given paracetamol, ORS, and Zinc.

Yumbya added that 43 pupils were in stable condition and had been discharged while eight others had been admitted at the same facility.

“Governor Wavinya Ndeti has said sorry to the affected pupils. She has ordered a waiver on all the affected children’s medical bills. They have been treated and given drugs free of charge,” The CECM noted.

MCA Kaloi termed the incident an accident. Kaloi lauded the police and county government for prompt response thereby saving victims’ lives. He told parents of the victims to keep calm and not to panic assuring them that their children were out of danger.

“Governor Ndeti is at the forefront in ensuring that health facilities provide high standards of medication,” Kaloi said. Kaloi also thanked the school head teacher for what he termed speedy and effective communication once the incident happened.

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