**Nabrangpur:** Mango kernels, a food item which is termed as quite normal in the tribal area, has again claimed two lives and two others are seriously ill of a single family. This incident occurred in Mainapadar village under Jharigaon block of the tribal dominated Nabrangpur district.
“We keep mango kernels for whole year round and consume it now and then. On Monday, when I and my brother were out for work, my wife Sudhamani (30) had prepared cakes of fermented mango kernel paste. The paste had turned black. She, my sister Namita (17), my son Prakash (7) and my brother’s wife Pramila (28) consumed it. My brother’s son Romeo (5) did not eat as it tasked bitter. When we reached home, they were experiencing head reeling, vomiting and loose motions. We thought that they were unwell and all will be okay. But late in the night, my sister Namita died. We then rushed to Jharigaon CHC,” said Arjun Santa.
The doctors at the CHC immediately referred the patients to Nabrangpur DHH as their condition was critical. But on way to DHH, Sudhamani too died. The other two patients are undergoing treatment.
Talking to OMMCOM NEWS, Nabarangpur Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) Sivarani Mishra said,“Though the family was experiencing diarrhea, they did not inform the ASHA workers or went to CHC for treatment. Only after the death of one patient, they understood the gravity of the situation. A team of doctors have reached the village. Both the deceased have been sent for post-mortem. As per the husband of the deceased, the mango kernel gruel was most probably fungal infected, as it had turned black. Still, they went ahead and consumed it. The mango kernels are kept by the locals for the whole year. It is a routine procedure of the tribals. Now, I am on my way to the village to take stock of the situation, and will be able to say only after a proper investigation.”
The people in certain parts of Odisha still consume mango kernel out of habit.
Rayagada’s Kashipur was in the news in 2001 when about 24 people died after consuming mango kernel gruel. The block had also come under scanner after starvation death allegations were reported in 1997. It had led to widespread political outcry.
Although the Opposition has been alleging that the government is yet to provide adequate food grains in that pocket, the State Government has been denying that these are starvation deaths, as they have enough food grains for consumption.
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