NEWS

No Post Mortem For Gau Fish Poisoning Victims

No post mortems were carried out on the four fish poisoning victims who died in Somosomo, Gau, Lomaiviti. They were buried at the village cemetery on Thursday. This was confirmed
07 Jan 2017 11:00
No Post Mortem For Gau Fish Poisoning Victims
A Somosomo villager weeps during the burial of the victims of fish poisoning. Photo: Pita Ligaiula

No post mortems were carried out on the four fish poisoning victims who died in Somosomo, Gau, Lomaiviti. They were buried at the village cemetery on Thursday.

This was confirmed by Joeli Bale, who led the grave diggers.

Mr Bale is a lay preacher at Gau Secondary School, about two kilometres from Nawaikama.

He said he was awoken at about 2am on Wednesday morning by the headman (Turaga-Ni-Koro) of Somosomo Village, Tomasi Draunibuka, and was traditionally informed about the deaths.

According to Mr Bale, the Sawaieke district representative (Mata ni Tikina), Kelepi Delai Mataitoga, was in contact with Police in Ovalau about the deaths and was told that the four bodies were to be taken to Levuka for the post mortem.

“We were told to dig the graves slowly, to wait for information about the post mortem from Ovalau,” he said.

The next information that was brought to the grave diggers, he said, was for the bodies to be taken to Qarani for the post mortem, but there was no confirmation.

“Two bodies were in Qarani and two were in Somosomo.”

He said the body fluids of the two in Somosomo had started to flow out.

After lunch yesterday the people from Qarani brought the two bodies and the four were buried straight away.

The four who lost their lives were Akariva Malamu, Sekove Vadei, Manasa Bulu and an Apolosi.

The fish (daniva) are reported to be poisonous once they feed on Balolo.

He said of the other villagers who ate the fish, including the Turaga-ni-Koro, were not poisoned.

The fish they ate was caught in a fish net just in front of their village and was distributed to all the clans, who were eating together after the New Year’s celebration.

The four funerals took place on Thursday.

There are currently nine surviving patients with fish poisoning.

The Fiji Sun was been informed by a person, who does not wish to be named, that a team from the Levuka Hospital will visit the nine patients today.

Fiji Sun has also been informed that the nine were given injections.

However, the Ministry of Health and Services was not able to confirm this.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services is continuing to provide care to the affected people in the village of Somosomo while undertaking an investigation into multiple cases of fish poisoning in the village community.

“The priority for the Ministry at this stage is to ensure that all those affected are treated appropriately,” a statement by the Ministry said.

The Ministry of Health is working with the Police and Ministry of Fisheries to ensure that the situation is controlled.

 

Edited by Maraia Vula

Feedback: monica.aguilar@fijisun.com.fj

 

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