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Panic as 18 children fall ill after eating fruits from a tree growing on a grave

03 February 2015, 12:41 Arap Yego

Kakamega - Panic has gripped Mwikunda Village in Mumias Kakamega County after 18 children were hospitalised after eating poisonous wild fruits from a tree growing on top of a grave.

The children aged between five and 15 years were rushed to St Mary’s Hospital in Mumias after the Monday morning incident, where six of them were treated and discharged while the rest are still recuperating. Seven of the hospitalised children are from one family.

Speaking to members of the press, Faustine Lung’aso, the head nurse at the hospital said the children were rushed to the facility in critical condition but they managed to attend to them in good time.

“They were vomiting and had acute abdominal pains. We treated them for wild fruit poisoning and we are happy they responded well to treatment,” said Lung’aso.

Read Also:  Controlling food related illnesses will intensify malnutrition, poverty

The scary incident has sparked panic in the sleepy village after it emerged that the tree where the children plucked the fruits from sprouted on top of a grave and is normally not known to be poisonous.

“This is a common tree which we plant on top of a grave according to our customs. We have never heard of an incident where people have fallen ill after eating its fruit. We are really shocked,” explained 78-year-old Mzee Ismail Otaro.

“We do not know why our children fell ill after eating the fruits from this tree which was planted in 1993 on the grave of my relative's wife,” said Otaro, who revealed that they will consider uprooting the tree after all the kids are discharged from hospital.

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