The head teacher of Golden Learning Center Nursery and Primary School, Ephraim Odong, has been detained by the police in connection with an ongoing investigation into a reported poisoning incident in Mityana district, where more than 100 pupils were rushed to various hospitals and clinics.
According to Racheal Kawala, the Wamala Region Police Spokesperson, this marks the third arrest in the case. Earlier, two cooks from the school, Alfred Kule and Edgar Mumbere, were arrested on Thursday.
The school is located in Namungo Central Village, Namungo Parish, Namungo Sub-County, Mityana District.
Kawala stated, “The territorial police in Mityana have in custody the head teacher to assist in the investigations into the suspected poisoning case that occurred on Wednesday, September 27.”
She further mentioned that the majority of the affected pupils have been discharged from hospitals, with only three remaining hospitalized as of Thursday, all of whom were responding to treatment. The rest of the pupils have been reunited with their parents.
Regarding the school’s status, Kawala explained that school activities have been suspended for approximately two weeks as investigations continue. The police are awaiting results from the food samples that have been sent to the forensics department for analysis.
On the day of the incident, over 100 pupils were admitted to different medical facilities, including Namungo Health Center III and MUKJ Medical Clinic. The police have visited the scene of the crime, documented evidence, and taken statements from the victims.
Kawala also mentioned that the school has been sealed off pending further instructions and that preliminary findings suggest a total enrollment of 350 pupils, most of whom were discharged, leaving about 50 under medical monitoring but in stable conditions. Fortunately, no fatalities have been reported at this time.
The suspicion in this case is that the victims may have consumed contaminated food, and investigations are ongoing.
It’s worth noting that in July of this year, a similar incident was reported in Mukono, where students were treated in the hospital after consuming contaminated food at Nakanyonyi Senior Secondary School in Nakifuma, Naggalama Town Council.
A report from the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) in August indicated that this incident was related to food poisoning rather than intentional poisoning, citing poor hygiene in the school’s food stores as a contributing factor.