NewsDeadly dining: 8 children dead, 78 hospitalized after eating sea turtle meat in Zanzibar

Deadly dining: 8 children dead, 78 hospitalized after eating sea turtle meat in Zanzibar

Tragedy on the island. Eight children dead, dozens in the hospital.
Tragedy on the island. Eight children dead, dozens in the hospital.
Images source: © East News, satelita.mapa.info.pl

10:20 AM EDT, March 10, 2024

A tragedy occurred in Zanzibar, resulting in the deaths of eight children and the hospitalization of 78 others after consuming sea turtle meat.

Reported by Thecitizen portal, the incident took place on the island of Panza in Zanzibar's southern region of Pemba.

District Doctor Haji Bakari Haji stated that the poisoning happened on Tuesday, but the authorities were only made aware of it on Friday.

Poisoning incidents in Zanzibar linked to turtle meat consumption

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident in Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous archipelago. In March 2023, seven individuals died and eight were severely affected by turtle meat consumption on Mafia Island in the Indian Ocean. Furthermore, in October 2021, seven people, including a three-year-old child, succumbed to similar poisoning on the island of Pemba.

Sea turtles, known to consume toxic sponges, carry toxins in their meat that can lead to neurotoxicity, kidney diseases, liver cancer, and potentially death in humans.

Despite being endangered and protected by international laws against hunting and consumption, sea turtle meat remains a sought-after delicacy among communities on the islands and coastal regions of Tanzania, Madagascar, and Seychelles.

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