Educational campaign needed to address food poisoning: Maghambayi

RUNDU: Chairperson of the Kavango East Regional Council, Damian Maghambayi said the incident in which two girls died and six other children were hospitalised from suspected food poisoning at Livayi village, needs to be addressed holistically.

Maghambayi told Nampa in an interview on Wednesday that an educational campaign is needed in the region.

Last year, 16 people died at Kayova village, also in the Ndiyona Constituency where Livayi is situated, from suspected food poisoning.

It was alleged that a family of 24 people became severely ill after eating porridge made from flour with an additive of dried pounded fermented sediment from a homemade beverage known locally as mundevere.

‘I just realised that we need to conduct more education around this issue. I remember when the Kayova incident took place, as Government we only focused on the affected family household and forgot to actually address the issue holistically in the region. We made sure the family received counselling and humanitarian aid,’ Maghamba
yi said.

Regional and Central Government forgot to view the issue as a societal one and the issue therefore became sensitised, he added.

Maghambayi said he learnt from the Livayi incident that a 12-year-old child reportedly prepared the food the family consumed.

‘Where were the elders when this was happening?’ he asked.

He said he understands that parents or elders could be in the field working, however, children that age should cook under an older person’s supervision.

He noted that in the Kayova incident, it was also a young child who had cooked food for the family, before stating that it is a common occurrence in the region.

‘We just need to look at this matter holistically to get to the bottom of it,’ he said.

The chairperson said the regional leadership is still in touch with the Office of the Prime Minister, looking at how best to continue assisting the affected family at Kayova.

Currently for the Livayi incident, he said the Ministry of Health and Social Services had a meeting with the governor
of the region to give him an update on what transpired.

Meanwhile on the topic of drought relief, Maghambayi said distribution started in October last year and is ongoing until July this year.

‘Currently distribution is taking place in the Ndiyona Constituency where Livayi is and beneficiaries are expected to receive food every month,’ he indicated.

Per household, beneficiaries get a 20kg bag of maize meal, four tins of fish, four bottles of cooking oil and five kilogrammes of soya beans, he said.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency