RWAMAGANA – At least 26 people are hospitalised at Rwamagana Hospital after drinking a suspected poisoned banana juice locally known as ‘Umutobe.’
The victims, including seven men, three children and 16 women, were admitted on Monday. Medics said five are in critical condition.
The victims, all residents of Bibare Village in Kigabiro Sector, Rwamagana District, were discovered ill, on Monday morning, by their neighbours.
Emmanuel Nyirimanzi, a village local leader in charge of security told The New Times yesterday that they learnt with shock that three families were suffering with severe stomach pains.
He added that the victims were members of an extended family and immediate neighbours.
“We woke up in the morning, and all seemed okay, but we were surprised to be informed that some people were about to die. I later came to know that they drunk banana juice that could have been laced with poison,” he said.
Blandine Nyirabizi, 20, one of those admitted said they suspect one of their neighbours to be behind the suspected poisoning.
“You see the container in which they prepared the juice was left outside the house for a night, to dry after washing. Someone must have taken advantage of that to contaminate it,” she said.
Dr. Herman Kalyama, who is attending to the patients, said that all of them have similar conditions; diarrhoea and vomiting.
However, he said, majority of them were responding well to treatment. The results of their tests had not been released to confirm poisoning, he said.
“We have carried blood samples for testing…but in the meantime, we can’t discharge any of them,” he said.