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Four family members die, others hospitalised after Amala meal

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University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital

Four members of a family in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, have died after eating yam flour, popularly called Amala, suspected to be poisonous. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that four others, who took from the meal, have also been hospitalised at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH).

The incident happened at Magaji-Ogo community behind Kwara State College of Arabic and Islamic Legal Studies, in Ilorin West Local Government Area. A source told NAN that the victims took the meal on Sunday night before three of them were found dead the following morning.

According to him, the fourth casualty, who was the head of the family, died on Wednesday. “Those feared dead are the family head, his sister and two children, while those recuperating in the hospital are the wife and three other children.

“Bodies of the deceased have been buried in accordance with Islamic rites. Though we are not sure yet of the cause of death, there is a huge suspicion that they died of poisoning. Officials from the state Ministry of Health were in the community to take samples of the meal for test but nothing has yet been said of the findings,’’ the source said.

The family, NAN learnt, is an extension of the District Head of Adewole, popularly known as Alangua Adewole in Ilorin.

Meanwhile, Oluwatosin Fakayode, Director, Public Health and Disease Control in the state Ministry of Health, confirmed the incident. He, however, said the ministry was yet to identify the cause of the “ugly and unfortunate occurrence.”

Fakayode told NAN that samples from the meal were taken for laboratory investigation, which would be out within the next 24 hours. “As it stands, it is difficult to say the cause until the result is out. However, we are definite that it is food poison because of the symptoms, but we are not sure of the food item that is culpable.

“We learnt they took these amphibian that they hawk around with it. So we are not sure if it is the source of the death because some of them are poisonous.

“Though we have not identified the culprit in terms of whether it is organism or chemical, definitely, it is a symptom of food poison, but our suspicion is the amphibian. It could be preservatives that were used on the items that were used for the meal,’’ he said.

When a NAN correspondent sought confirmation of the police in Kwara on the incident, its spokesman, Ajayi Okasanmi, said the command was not aware of the incident.


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