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Two children die after eating poisonous seeds

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Two children from Lumwira Village in Traditional Authority Kachindamoto in Dedza died after eating poisonous seeds and tubers.

A medical official from the district yesterday confirmed the deaths of the children, William Richard, 4, and Lovemore Richard, 2.

The news about the deaths of the two went viral on social media after Member of Parliament (MP) for Dedza East, Juliana Lunguzi, told a local radio station that the deaths was a result of hunger.

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She was quoted as saying that the children ate the tubers after starving when their mother left them home as she went to the field.

Upon arrival from the field, the mother, according Dedza District Health Office (DHO) spokesperson, Arnold Ndalira, discovered that one kid had already died and that the older kid was opening bowels and vomiting.

“Officials from Golomoti Health Centre where one of the kids was diagnosed say that the children were opening bowels. However, they were no clear indications as to what they really ate prior to opening the bowels.

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“A post-mortem examination was not conducted to authenticate the cause of the death but it is confirmed that the children were vomiting and opening bowels. This is so because the case was reported at a health centre,” explained Ndalira.

He said the only treatment the child was given upon arrival was a “drip of water” and he immediately passed on upon arrival.

Ndalira then referred The Daily Times to Golomoti Police, saying they were better-placed to divulge more details as they were investigating the matter.

But Dedza Police spokesperson, Edward Kabango, was ignorant of the development, saying police did not receive any case related to the death of the two.

“Secondly, we as the police, we don’t confirm death [caused by hunger]. Maybe you should consult the hospital officials. If it was an accident or disaster, we could have had a say on it,” Kabango said.

President Peter Mutharika has several times reaffirmed government’s position that nobody will die of hunger in Malawi this year.

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