At least 20 people have been admitted to hospital in Kalungu District, central Uganda after eating porridge suspected to have been laced with poison, police said Tuesday.
Fourteen of the victims are fighting for their lives at St Joseph Good Shepherd Health Centre IV in Kalungu District while six others are admitted to different health facilities in Kampala.
The victims are part of the guests who on Sunday gathered at the home of one Joseph Luhumuliza at Kigaaju Village in Lwabenge Sub County for a traditional marriage ceremony. All the victims complained of stomachaches after reportedly eating the millet porridge at the event.
Mr Luhumuliza said his wife was rushed to hospital on Sunday night after developing serious vomiting and stomachache. Their daughter, Rose Mukabalisa had a few weeks ago introduced her husband to the family and the in-laws had come back to thank them for raising their daughter well (okuzza omuzigo).
He said he received phone calls indicating that several guests who ate the porridge at the ceremony presented similar signs and symptoms which made them suspicious. Ms Mukabalisa and four of the in-laws who live in Kampala are among those hospitalized.
“It is surprising that only the guests who ate the millet porridge(bushera)were affected. I told whoever called me that we had also been hospitalized after my wife experienced diarrhea, vomiting, and severe stomachache,” Mr Luhumuliza told this reporter on Monday.
Mr Mathias Mulumba, the area sub-county councilor asked the district leaders to allocate more funds to the health department so that the health facilities in the area are well-equipped and able to handle such emergency cases.
“Health facilities in the district need to be equipped to handle such emergency cases,” he added. Southern Regional Police Spokesperson, Mr Twaha Kasirye said they picked porridge samples for further analysis.