Residents of Miathene area in Meru County have threatened to go to the streets to protest against government administrators for failing to be proactive in the fight against illicit brews.
The residents were reacting to a recent incident at Ntombo village where several people had to be rushed to Miathene sub-county hospital after consuming an unknown type of illicit brew offered by a neighbour.
Irate residents cited the need for government agents to embark on a thorough investigation to monitor how area administrators were executing the task of containing illicit brew trade and consumption.
They suspected that some of the administrators entrusted with dealing with the menace usually collude with illicit brew dealers who compromise them to protect the traders from facing the full force of the law.
Confirming the incident,the Medical Officer of Health in charge of Miathene sub-county hospital, Dr. Laban Chabari said several people from Ntombo village sought treatment at the facility for severe stomach ache after consuming some alcoholic substance.
Dr. Chabari said two of the patients were admitted for further observation and treatment while several others were treated and discharged, adding that among the inpatients, a male adult died while undergoing treatment.
He said the remaining female patient had positively responded to treatment and was in a stable condition, adding she would be discharged after being given a clean bill of health by the medical personnel attending her in the ward.
Dr. Chabari said cases of people seeking treatment after consuming illicit brews in the area were common, adding that the victims do not bother to establish the standard and content of the alcoholic substances they were consuming.
He cited the need for concerted multi-agency efforts to sensitize the public against consuming locally made alcoholic substances, saying more often than not they were a health risk.
The medical officer regretted to note that those seeking services at the facility after developing health problems upon consuming illicit brews were people of all ages and social status.
By Makaa Margaret