Regional News of Monday, 16 September 2013
Source: Daily Graphic
Jacobu, the capital of Amansie Central District in the Ashanti Region, was hit by food poisoning scare at the weekend when scores of people, including journalists, chiefs and policemen, were taken ill after eating at a reception held at the end of a programme organised by the district assembly to endorse the new District Chief Executive (DCE).
Eyewitnesses said there was a lot to eat at the reception, with some of the guests carrying excess food in packs to their homes.
In a chain reaction, they suffered symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea and were rushed to various health facilities for treatment in Kumasi, Bekwai and Obuasi.
Among those from Kumasi were reporters with some radio stations. One of them gave some of the food to the wife to eat and minutes later, she started vomiting and defecating and the two were taken to hospital.
No death has occurred but a distraught DCE, Mr Emmanuel Dede-Appiah, told the Daily Graphic last Saturday night that at least 60 people were taken to the district hospital and a private clinic at Jacobu.
“It’s terrible. Even the chief of my town is a victim but I thank God that no one has lost his or her life,” the DCE said.
A source at the Jacobu Police also said seven policemen who took the meal also fell ill and were rushed to the local hospital for treatment.
It said the police were investigating the incident.
A health official at the Jacobu hospital, confirming the situation in a telephone interview with the Daily Graphic, said medical officers worked hard on the victims to save lives.
Health authorities at Jacobu were testing samples of the food ate and the stool of victims to detect what caused the near calamity.
But the DCE said the victims appeared to have eaten jollof with shito.
According to Mr Dede-Appiah, those who ate other dishes including tuo-zaafi, fufu, and banku did not complain of any complications.
He, however, suspected foul play and had consequently reported the matter to the police for investigations.
“The lunatic fringes in this field of politics we find ourselves can do anything so I am not ruling out foul play. Sometimes, they can come from within,” he said.
The DCE said the food served at the reception was from three sources. Some of it was prepared by his wife, with the rest coming from the district assembly and a private caterer at Obuasi.
“But for now, I don’t know where the jollof and shito came from, “ he added.
At the function itself, Mr Dede-Appiah received an overwhelming approval from the general assembly as all the 38 members present voted to approve his nomination by the President.
In his acceptance speech, the DCE thanked the President and the assembly members for the confidence reposed in him and called for support from all stakeholders in the development of the district in his desire to steer the affairs of the district successfully.