A report following an investigation into food supplies that left at least 269 people sick and four dead in Karamoja early this year has come out all clear.
In March, people from Karamoja, particularly Napak and Amudati districts, suffered poisoning from food which was supplied by the World Food Program.
The tragedy called for an investigation by a multi-sectoral task force comprising the Ministry of Health, World Health Organization, Office of Prime Minister (Karamoja Affairs), Ministry of Internal Affairs, Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) and US-based Centre for Disease Control (CDC).
So far extensive laboratory tests have been carried out on food samples and patient specimen at UNBS, government analytical laboratory, MOH public health laboratory and the current results still show no contamination.
Other tests were done to by United States agency Food and Drug Authority to rule out the presence of mycotoxin, heavy metals, pesticides and microbial agents in food.
According to Minister of Health Dr Ruth Aceng, all results got from various tests were complemented by an epidemiological review by MOH and CDC and a top toxicologist from the United Kingdom who visited Karamoja and some patients, all results showed no contamination.
“In all tests, it was established that all the 293 people who fell sick had eaten porridge from a single batch however the findings so have not conclusively pinpointed to the causative agent,” said Aceng.
However, Aceng said more tests are being conducted by the US- Food and Drug Authority and the findings will be released as soon as they receive results.
According to WFP, the food in question came from a single Turkish supplier. Since the incident, WFP suspended super cereal distribution from the Turkish supplier both locally and internationally pending findings of the investigations.
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