It has been confirmed that there was chlorpyrifos, a toxic substance commonly used in pesticides in the banku and okro meal which caused the recent deaths at Akakpokope, a village in the South Tongu District of the Volta Region.
Six people including a child, a mother and her daughter died in the village after consuming the popular local delicacy; banku and okro soup.
According to the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), a test on the sample of food taken from the village to the FDA Quality Control Laboratory showed that the food contained the toxic substance.
A statement signed and issued by the FDA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Delese Mimi Darko on Wednesday said “laboratory results from the GSA [Ghana Standards Authority] on the 13th of March, 2018 indicated the presence of Chlorpyrifos” which confirms earlier analysis by the FDA.
The FDA said they are forwarding the findings to the Public Health Directorate of the Ghana Health Service for further action and explained that, “the FDA is not mandated to determine the cause of death. This can only be established after a pathological investigation.”
The deceased, who were between the ages of 10 and 40, were said to belong to two separate families and coincidentally seemed to have eaten the same meal.
They were Peace Akakpo, 35; Elias Akakpo, 14; Comfort Aryee, 40; and Patience Kwaovi, 10. Two others also died later bringing the number of deaths to six.