At least 20 people are fighting for their lives in Kalungu District, central Uganda after consuming porridge suspected to have been poisoned.
14 victims were admitted to St Joseph Good Shepherd Health Centre IV while the other six were taken to different hospitals within Kampala.
The ailing patients are said to be part of a group of guests who attended a traditional wedding ceremony in Kigaaju Village, Lwabenge sub-County on Sunday, September 3.
Uganda wedding turns tragic
Joseph Luhumuliza, the owner of the home, revealed that his wife was rushed to hospital on Sunday evening after complaining of stomachache hours after consuming traditionally prepared porridge.
Numerous calls followed with all of the victims’ relatives making similar complaints as those of Luhumuliza’s wife.
The ceremony was held in honour of their daughter Rose Mukabalisa, whose in-laws visited to thank the family for raising their daughter well.
Bride among those hospitalized
Unfortunately, Mukabalisa and four of her in-laws were also among those admitted to hospital after consuming the ‘poisonous’ porridge.
“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,” he told journalists.
Southern Regional Police Spokesperson Twaha Kasirye said they had begun investigations into the shocking incident and had picked up samples for analysis.
Lwabenge sub-County Councilor Mathias Mulumba called for improved health facilities to handle such cases.
“Health facilities in the district need to be better equipped to handle such emergency cases,” he added.
In July this year, over 150 students from Nakanyonyi Senior Secondary School in Mukono district, central Uganda were hospitalized over suspected food poisoning.