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13 family members die after eating ‘toxic’ porridge

Thirteen members of the same family in Namibia have died after eating suspected toxic porridge, the country’s state broadcaster has said.

Another four people are in a critical condition in hospital, the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) reported.

NBC, quoting the health ministry, said at least 20 people consumed the “poisonous or toxic” porridge after it was mixed with a fermented substance left over from a homemade alcoholic drink.

The victims, who were from the Kavango East region in the far northeast of the southern African country, ranged in age from two to 33, NBC said.


Most of those who died were children and are reported to have been “in desperate need of food”, AfricaNews said on its website.

NBC, quoting the health ministry, said the meal was prepared with pearl millet flour and fermented sediment derived from a homemade beverage.

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An investigation has been launched and a team of counsellors has been sent by the ministry to offer psychological support to the grieving family, AfricaNews said.

It stated that samples of the porridge have been sent to neighbouring South Africa for testing.


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