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Two People In Tharaka Nithi Die After Consuming Poisonous Honey

In Tharaka Nithi county, two people died, and eight others were treated at Marimanti Sub-County Hospital last Saturday after swallowing wild honey in Kiaruni village in Tharaka South sub-county.

According to Tharaka South Police Commander Margaret Magiri, a 34-year-old man died while undergoing treatment while a woman died at home.

The woman, a Kabonokia religious follower, had refused medical treatment, claiming her faith, which encourages prayer rather than therapy.

“The woman died at home because according to her Kabonokia religious sect beliefs, they are not allowed to seek medical treatment,” Magiri said.

Stephen Kamanja, the Marimanti hospital nursing services manager, said five patients were discharged on Monday and the other three were no longer in danger.

“We have lost one of the nine patients, discharged five after they improved, and the rest, including a two and half-year-old child, are responding very well too,” Kamanja said.

He stated they were trying to figure out what kind of poison was in the honey, which he called nchuura in the Kitharaka dialect.

Nchuura is produced by a kind of tiny bees known as tuchuura in the area, which do not sting. Nchuura is thought to be therapeutic by the locals. It is highly prized and consumed uncooked.

In July last year, three individuals died in Muguruka village, Tharaka South, while four others were treated at Marimanti hospital after consuming a honey-based brew.

This came a day after a seven-year-old kid in Tharaka North's Gichiini village died, and four others were successfully treated at a Mukothima hospital after consuming raw honey.

Two family members in Riamikui hamlet in Tharaka North died in June last year after swallowing deadly honey, while another was successfully treated at Meru Teaching and Referral Hospital.

Victims reported stomach pains, diarrhea, nausea, and bodily weakness in all of these cases. They were diagnosed with an undetermined form of food poisoning and were treated accordingly.

According to Livestock and Fisheries Chief Officer Dr. Mbae Nkoroi, an animal scientist, the honey could have been tampered with.

According to him, researchers have discovered that bees can recognize poisonous plants and avoid them when hunting for honey-making resources.

He suggested that the alleged toxic honey be taken to a government laboratory for testing to determine its composition.

In the previous year, at least nine individuals have died in the County after swallowing poisoned honey, raising concerns about the safety of the tasty bee product.

All of the deaths were reported among the Tharaka, who engage in traditional beekeeping to produce honey for domestic consumption or make uki, a traditional beverage.

 

 

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