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General News of Monday, 3 April 2017


Kumasi Academy SHS death toll now 4

The number of students from the Kumasi Academy SHS who have lost their lives over suspected food poisoning has risen to four.

The latest casualty is a first year science student of the school whose parents have informed authorities of the school of his death.

The Public Relations Officer of the Ashanti Regional Education Directorate, Cassandra Antwi, confirmed to Class FM in an interview on Monday, April 3.

“We have a total of four,” she said, adding: “This student, we are told he went home without exeat. He had told his friends that he was going for school fees but after authorities checked it turned out that he was not owing any fees.”

Meanwhile, officials at the Asokore Mampong Municipal Health Directorate have begun investigations into what caused the death of students of the Kumasi Academy SHS in the Ashanti Region.

The school authorities are liaising with health officials to ascertain the cause of the death, which have occurred within less than 20 days.

Meanwhile, teaching and learning activities have been affected as students who reported for school on Monday, April 3, have decided to return home.

It would be recalled that the students demonstrated on the evening of Friday March 31 to seek answers from authorities on the mysterious deaths.

Three students, who were granted permission to go home for treatment after they had complained of sickness, died while at home.

A student fell sick on Friday, March 31 and his mates, who became suspicious over the previous deaths, decided to go on rampage.

Students in the school vandalised school buses and other properties in the process and attempted to attack the assistant head teacher of the school.

Over 100 parents stormed the school Friday evening after some of their wards called to inform them about a food poisoning incident.

Police officers from the Asokore Mampong and Manhyia Divisional Police Commands were called for reinforcement.

Confirming the incident to Class News, assistant head teacher in charge of academics, Ernest Wiafe, said calm had returned to the school but the parents would have to come back at a later time.

According to him, “the students were agitated after supper when they heard rumours another student had passed on”.

He said one first year student and two second year students had passed away at that time.

“They did not die in the school here. These are students who fell sick, reported at the sick bay, they were given first aid, the nurses sought the permission of their respective house heads, they went home, they were taken to hospital but unfortunately passed on at those health facilities,” he explained.

He said the issue had been reported to the Municipal Health Directorate.

"The Director has instructed some of his personnel to come over. They have taken information from the school and they want to do follow-up at the respective health facilities where the students unfortunately passed away so that they can put a finger on what transpired.

He emphasised that there had been “nothing like food poisoning” adding that “the school has a population of over 2000 and if it was food poisoning you would have imagined the numbers [of students who will fall ill]”.

Mr Wiafe indicated that the deaths are “isolated cases and ailments, however investigations by professionals are still ongoing and I believe in the end we will know everything”.

He ruled out the possibility of sending all students home.