Student dies, another hospitalised after consuming methanol


A secondary school student has died and another one is admitted at the Samburu County Referral hospital in critical condition after they consumed methanol from their school’s laboratory.

The 17-year-old girl and the deceased were among a group of eight form four students, including five boys and three girls, from Longewan Secondary School in Samburu Central sub County who drunk methanol, mistaking it for a harmless alcoholic drink.

Rajab Saddam, a doctor at Samburu County Referral hospital in Maralal Town, said the victim is admitted at the hospital in a semi conscious condition with severe abdominal pain she developed after imbibing the drink.

He said the victim is responding to treatment as doctors try their best to save her life.

“We are running fluids as we continue to monitor her situation. The irony with methanol poisoning is that you need to treat it with absolute vodka which is an antidote that is pure alcohol which is being purchased as we speak,” said Saddam.

Saddam said the vodka is urgently needed to unbind the methanol from the patient’s system to save her eyes, liver and kidney from failure.

He said the victim was brought at the hospital with the assistance of students and staff members from the school.

While confirming the incident, Samburu Central Sub County OCPD, Mr Abaggarro Guyo, said one of the students stole the liquid from the school’s laboratory and shared it with others at about 3pm.

Guyo said some of the victims drunk the pure liquid as others drunk it while mixed with soda.

The other six students who had drunk the same drink were rushed to Suguta health facility where they were treated and discharged.

Police have taken the body of the deceased to Samburu County Referral Hospital mortuary.

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Story By Johnston Keti
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