9 dead, 78 hospitalised after eating turtle meat

Eight children and one woman died on Zanzibar Island after consuming contaminated sea turtle meat, highlighting the dangers of chelonitoxism, a rare food poisoning without an antidote, as confirmed by Haji Bakari, the medical officer for the Mkoani District.

Eight children and one woman tragically lost their lives on Zanzibar Island after consuming sea turtle meat, which is highly prized as a delicacy in the region. A total of 78 individuals were hospitalized due to the tainted meat.


This incident underscores the dangers of consuming contaminated sea turtles, as it can lead to chelonitoxism, a rare form of food poisoning that lacks a specific antidote, leaving patients reliant on supportive care alone.

Haji Bakari, the medical officer for the Mkoani District, revealed that the woman who succumbed on Friday was the mother of one of the deceased children from earlier in the week.


In the wake of this tragic event, authorities in Zanzibar are intensifying efforts to raise awareness about the risks associated with consuming sea turtle meat and to ensure food safety measures are strictly adhered to.

Additionally, there is a renewed call for stricter enforcement of regulations governing the hunting and consumption of endangered species like sea turtles. This incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of vigilance in safeguarding public health and the preservation of wildlife.

Written by Telha

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