A child has been confirmed dead, while nine people have been admitted in hospital in Taita Taveta after consuming bad meat.
Over 40 villagers of Kalambani, in Chala were rushed to Taveta sub county hospital on Sunday complaining of headaches, stomach-aches, vomiting and diarrhoea a day after consuming the meat sold to them by a villager on Thursday.
According to them, the meat was uninspected and they did not know it was of a dead cow.
“The owner of the cow was selling the meat at throw away price and we did sold the meat at a throw away price and we did not have any option but to buy,” said one villager Philip Mathenge.
Mr Mathenge said many villagers did not notice that the meat was from a dead cow.
The villagers were initially treated at Chala dispensary but later rushed to the sub county hospital after their conditions worsened.
Another villager who was admitted at the hospital, Solomon Adagala, said he consumed the meat at his neighbour’s house on Thursday.
He said he was rushed to hospital on Sunday after his condition got worse.
“When we reached at the dispensary, that is when I saw my neighbours who told me they had also ate the same meat,” he said.
Mrs Regina Matutu told the Nation that her family of six had been affected.
Mrs Matutu was admitted together with her two children at the hospital.
“My husband and two other children were treated and allowed to go home. The youngest one is not in good condition,” she said.
According to the hospital’s management, a public health team had been sent to the village to investigate the matter.
The hospital’s nursing officer in charge, Emanuel Roge said that the team would have various meetings with the villagers at Kalambani and Chalakati areas.
“We urge all those who consumed the meat to seek treatment,” he said.
He said the hospital’s ambulance had been ferrying villagers to the hospital to receive treatment.
He said most villagers had been treated and discharged.
“We are still monitoring those who are still admitted here but they are in stable condition because they are responding well to treatment,” Mr Roge said.
Taita Taveta County police commander Fred Ochieng said the owner of the cow had been arrested.
Mr Ochieng said police had visited the suspect’s home and recovered the cow’s skin which would be used as evidence in court.
He said the suspect will be taken to court after investigations.
He also urged members of the public especially those from pastoral communities not to consume uninspected meat.
“Residents are likely to lose their livestock due to the ongoing drought but I urge them to contact a veterinary officer before they consume the meat,” he urged.