Malawi: Police Arrests Sellers of 'Ambuye Tengeni' Alcohol That Has Killed 4 People in Blantyre

Police say they have swung into operation to arrest those selling an illicit liquor called "ambuye tengeni" in the southern region which has killed five people in Blantyre on Saturday.

Four people who drunk the liquor are receiving medication at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre.

Southern region police spokesperson Joseph Sauka said officers are all over liquor selling points in the region to impound and arrest those selling the liquor.

Meanwhile, the funeral service for one of the people who died of suspected alcohol poisoning , Effort Pemba, is underway at Manase Township in Blantyre.

Pemba's uncle Andrew M'bwana says his nephew's death has puzzled the family.

"We have more questions that have no answers. We just put everything in the hands of the Almighty God," he said.

Blantyre District Health Office statement issued yesterday shows that five people died of the suspected alcohol poisoning as of yesterday.

In an interview a while ago, Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital deputy director Shaffi Mdala said since Friday evening they have received nine patients, of which three died while receiving treatment.

Health rights advocates since have urged the Malawi Bureau of Standards to begin testing locally brewed alcohol that is not standardized, commonly known as Magagada.

The call by George Jobe, a health rights campaigner, follows an incident of suspected alcohol poisoning in Manase-Blantyre, which has resulted in five deaths.

Meanwhile, the Blantyre District Health Office has told us that it is currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the deaths.

According to Chrissy Banda, spokesperson for the health office, about two people have been admitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Commenting on the matter, Jobe faulted the Bureau for not routinely testing locally brewed but non-standardized alcohol, something he feels is putting lives at risk.

Jobe has since advised alcohol consumers to choose alcohol that would not compromise their health.

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