A burial at a village in Bomet Central nearly turned tragic after mourners were taken ill.
Over 50 people among them 12 children were admitted in critical condition at Longisa County Referral Hospital while more than 200 others were treated at their homes in what has been described as food poisoning.
Locals who spoke to The Standard at Tabook Village in Mutarakwa Ward said the victims started complaining after consuming food that was being served to mourners.
David Chepkwony said immediately after the funeral service, mourners were served with rice and beef stew but before long, some started complaining of abdominal pain.
Chepkwony said by Thursday evening, most of the residents in the village were experiencing diarrhea, stomach pain and vomiting.
“We had to raid alarm after those complaining hit 60 and the disaster officers from the county arrived,” said cheokwony.
County disaster management officer Stanley Mutai said his team arrived at the village past midnight to find several people complaining.
“We immediately called in all the six ambulances to ferry those who were critical to hospital for specialized treatment,” Mutai said.
He said by 6:00am on Friday, 29 women, 9 men and 14 children had been admitted in Longisa.
County Executive Committee member in charge of medical services and public health Joseph Sitonik said those admitted were in stable condition.
“All of them are improving and out of danger, they are being monitored by doctors in a special ward created to take care of them,” he said.
Sitonik said the incident is suspected to have been caused by contamination of food served to mourners.
“This is clearly food poison that may have occurred as a result of contamination either during preparation or service of the food,” he said.
Sitonik said a team of surveillance officers had been deployed to the village to conduct further investigation on what went wrong with the food.
He said samples of the food had already been obtained for testing.
He asked locals to observe hygiene while preparing food to avoid similar incidents in future.
“We need to ensure that hygiene is given priority while serving a group and even in our homes,” he said.