Over 50 students of the Ghana Senior High School (GHANASS) at Koforidua in the Eastern Region, are receiving treatment at the St. Joseph’s Hospital following a suspected food poisoning.
The students; both male and female, were rushed to the hospital on Monday after they complained of stomach aches after eating ‘waakye’ from the school’s canteen on Sunday.
When Citi News visited the emergency ward of the hospital, some students were being attended to by nurses on duty.
Some of the students had been put on drips, whilst others had been discharged and were in the process of completing documentation to confirm their release.
“I bought waakye at the bush canteen and in the evening on Sunday, I started running, others who also ate at the dining hall also started complaining of tummy ache so we were rushed here,” one of the affected students told Citi News.
The situation forced some parents to rush to the hospital to check on their wards.
A visibly worried parent, Naa Shika, explained that “I was at work when my daughter called me that she has been admitted at this hospital so I had quickly stop whatever I was doing to come here. She told me her tummy aches and I am really worried about it, as you can see she’s in pain now, but I can’t really say if it is food poisoning even though a lot of the students are also on admission here.”
Dr. David Kupualor, the Medical Director in charge of the St Joseph’s Hospital said the facility was trying its best to manage the situation.
“A lot of students were rushed here from Sunday evening and Monday with complaints about stomach aches, clinical research done on them indicated they had diarrhea so we quickly administered treatment and medication and some are on admission while others have been treated and discharged”.
Dr. Kupualor revealed that samples of the stools have been sent to the Regional Disease Control for further examinations.
“Officials from the disease control unit were here with the director of health and some samples of stools were collected by them for further investigations.”
The Assistant Headmaster of GHANASS in charge of Academics, Frederick Kwaku Owusu, called for calm among parents.
“I would want to assure parents that their wards are in safe hands. It was on Sunday when some students complained about tummy ache so they were sent to the school’s clinic, but on Monday more students kept reporting at the school’s clinic about same stomach aches so we hurriedly rushed them to the St. Joseph’s Hospital,” he said.
The Assistant Headmaster said the school authorities suspect the situation was as a result of the food eaten by the students after their parents visited that weekend.
“We suspect that the students had overeaten the foods their parents brought on visiting that weekend, some others also kept the left over and took it the next day.”
School canteen closed down for probe
Frederick Kwaku Owusu, however, revealed that, the school canteen has been closed down as part of investigations.
“Initially, we thought it was the normal students complaint, but upon further interactions, some students said they bought some food from the school’s canteen. There is a canteen in the school, but it is not managed by school authorities, so the school management met and we have closed down the canteen as part of investigations.”
Meanwhile, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) in the Eastern Region, has also commenced their investigations into the cause of the suspected food poisoning.