Traditional Brew Believed To Be Laced With Crocodile’s Bile Kills 69 in Mozambique
In some African traditions, whenever people kills a crocodile, they immediately bury the reptile’s bile to ensure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands and used as a poison. The crocodile’s bile contains greenish-brown liquid produced by the reptile’s liver and stored inside its gallbladder.
Report on the investigation of the death of 69 people in Chitima district, Mozambique, indicates possible contamination of a local brew, Pombe, with the crocodile’s bile. 69 deceased people are believed to have taken the local brew laced with crocodile’s bile while attending a funeral ceremony held at Northeast Tete province, Mozambique last Saturday.
Health officials further say that the numbers of reported incidences of people being poisoned by crocodile bile in the area is increasing. Records have it; up to 196 people have been admitted to a hospital in Chitima district having been poisoned by crocodile’s bile.
“People flocked to the hospital, suffering from diarrhea and muscle pain. Then bodies from various neighborhoods were brought to the hospital, and this alerted us,” said, Paul Bernado, the Directors of Health, Women and Social Welfare in Chitima district, Mozambique.
The traditional beer, Pombe, is brewed from millet or corn flour in a process that takes up to two days. Pombe is especially common during ceremonies and is often served in rural setups across major parts of Southern Africa.
The 69 deceased people were attending a funeral ceremony held in Chitima district in commemoration of a newborn baby that had passed away. The mother of the baby is believed to have brewed the beer, and she is also among the dead.
According to Radio Mozambique, police have been sent to the region to carry out further investigations and health workers reinforcements have been sent to the affected districts.