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7 people succumb to killer brew in Eldoret

By MICHAEL OLLINGA | Jul 13th 2014 | 3 min read

Eldoret, Kenya: Seven people among them two University students have died with five others being admitted at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) in Uasin Gishu County after consuming illicit liquor.

MTRH administration confirmed receiving patients with effects of alcohol intoxication from various parts of the County on Friday evening.

Dr Francis Ogaro, the hospital’s Assistant Deputy Director Clinical Services (ADDCS), said that they admitted 12 patients but unfortunately seven of them succumbed to the effects of the drinks dating to Saturday Night.

“We admitted twelve patients starting Friday evening, seven of them passed on, three are on the emergency ward and two are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU),” he said.

Dr Ogaro said that they have taken samples of the patients for testing besides conducting post-mortem to ascertain the toxic substance in the consumed brews.

The authorities further revealed that most of the cases they received were from Langas, Maili Nane and Kesses area where the Moi University main campus is situated.

Peter Ong’ase a survivor of the adulterated drink and a student at Moi University recounted how he and two of his colleagues bought liquor from the pub at the institution’s main bus stage on Friday evening, but could not link up with the flow of events leading to today.

“We bought three bottles of Meakins Spirit from a pub at the Stage and carried it to our hostels on Friday in preparation for a party but I only woke up on Saturday afternoon to find myself in Hospital,” he explained.

According to Ong’ase they bought the drinks at a cost of Sh70 per bottle adding that despite being used to the brand, it tasted more bitter that fateful night.

“Until now I have not met my friends whom we were with at the room, their phones are off and am not sure if they are well,” the third year media studies student said.

Other affected individuals are said to have consumed the adulterated liquor at Sokomoko Pub in the sprawling Langas slums, the area administration has so far closed the pub and several others where the suspected brands were being sold.

One High School student from Tumaini High School in Langas is among the deceased and according to his relatives, he had taken the brew at Sokomoko on Friday evening but the effects overcame him on Saturday afternoon when they rushed him to MTRH.

Festus Makori the brother to the deceased said that his younger brother came in on Friday night while drunk but failed to get out of his bed the following morning.

“He complained of back pains, achy eyes and a headache, he got worse in the afternoon prompting us to rush him to MTRH but he unfortunately died the same night,” said Makori.

According to Makori, his younger brother Obed 16, was a friend to the Sokomoko Bar owner and had confessed to have drunk two bottles of Spirits bought to him by the proprietor while being taken to hospital.

Uasin Gishu County administration led by the Health Committee Member in Charge of Health Dr Eunice Siria who was at the MTRH said they have alerted all public health officers in the area, to help patients with suspected alcohol intoxication complications urgently to avert more deaths.

“We are working with the police and the Anti-Drug abuse agencies to counter the spread of the supply of the mentioned brands, we have so far closed two pubs, several suspected dealers have also been arrested for further probing,” she said.

She called on individuals who have consumed any of the Colours, Meakins, Goal and Members  Spirits brands to go to MTRH for free testing since methanol effects take some time top surface but are explosive.

She confirmed that two students of Moi University were among the deceased.

This comes in the wake of more than eight people dying from consumption of related brands in Nandi County with the number having risen to 15 by Sunday morning.

The area security team, led by County Commissioner Hassan Abdi and the National Authority for Campaign against Drug Abuse (NACADA) has convened a crisis meeting and will issue a statement later today.

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