Uganda food relief suspended over poisoning fears

The World Food Programme (WFP) has suspended the distribution of a fortified food cereal in Uganda after one person died and nearly 200 were hospitalised in northern Uganda.

Police Takes Samples Of Suspected Poisoned WFP Foods To Gov't Lab
Police Takes Samples Of Suspected Poisoned WFP Foods To Gov’t Lab

“Super Cereal” is meant for pregnant or breastfeeding women and children under the age of five.

It is supplied to both Ugandan and refugee communities.

Since Friday, dozens of people have been hospitalised in the Karamoja region of north-eastern Uganda after complaining of stomach aches, fever and showing signs of confusion.

Local officials say a 67-year-old woman died before making it to hospital.

According to the WFP, the patients were from families that had received a batch of fortified blended food last week.

The government and the UN agency are still investigating whether the outbreak of illness is linked to the cereal.

Distribution of the food has been suspended across the country.

Efforts are also underway to retrieve bags already delivered. It is not yet clear how many people are affected.

Uganda hosts over one million refugees, mostly women and children from South Sudan.

So far, all the reported cases are in the Karamoja region where previous conflicts, drought and extreme poverty have left some communities reliant on food aid. BBC News