24 villagers admitted to hospital after drinking brew

25 Apr 2014 10:40am
ANDARA, 25 APR (NAMPA) – Twenty-four people were admitted to the Andara District Hospital on Thursday after they drank a traditional brew suspected to have been poisoned.
The villagers are from the Kapako and Shadipwera villages, situated some 180km east of Rundu in the Kavango East Region’s Mukwe Constituency.
The hospital’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Moses Bemba told Nampa on Friday that 15 villagers were admitted there on Thursday morning for excessive vomitting, dizziness and diarrhoea after drinking a traditional beverage.
The other affected villagers were admitted on Thursday evening, and all confirmed to hospital officials that they drank a brew from the same source.
The alcoholic drink is locally known as ‘Mundevere’, and is made from sorghum.
“It is alleged that the brew was poisoned, but that is not clear yet. We will leave it to the police to establish the exact cause,” Bemba said.
Samples of the traditional brew were taken for laboratory tests by the Namibian Police Force (NamPol).
All affected villagers are currently in a stable condition, and might be discharged during the course of today.
Bemba advised community members to desist from drinking any traditional brew whose content they do not know completely.
Some traditional brew-makers often add unknown ingredients to make the alcoholic drink stronger, which sometimes becomes poisonous to the human body.
In 2011, 18 children and their schoolteacher from the Shayirungu village in the Mukwe Constituency were admitted to the Andara hospital after eating bread suspected to have been poisoned.
The children, all under 10-years-old at the time, and the teacher from the Shayirungu Combined School, situated some 180km east of Rundu, ate the bread at their school.
They later started complaining of stomach pain, but luckily all survived the ordeal.