For the president of the Cameroon League of Consumers, the authorities do not put enough resources to control what the populations consume.
At least 19 people died and 27 are still hospitalized in the Eastern Region after ingesting poor quality alcohol. According to the first elements of the investigations, the victims had ingested methanol, which mixed with ethanol (Odontol in local appellation) proved deadly.
For Delor Magellan Kamseu Kamgaing, president of the Cameroonian League of Consumers, this sanitary drama is attributable to the Cameroonian authorities. “The responsibility lies with the Government because the Government must ensure that what is marketed meets the standards. So when there are beverages that do not meet the standards on the market, the responsibility is not that of the consumer, but it is the responsibility of the government, “he told RFI. And to insist: “An unnamed product is a dangerous product, it’s a poison.“
“The means are not in place to enable the Standards and Quality Agency to do its work, particularly in terms of standards development. As a result, people consume these beverages without knowing the dangers, he added.
On the spot, the SDO of the Haut-Nyong issued a decree prohibiting the marketing of this beverage. Some suspected beverage vendors have already been arrested and taken into custody in a gendarmerie brigade in Bomba, one of the cities where victims have been registered, RFI said. The investigators would like to know the formula that was used in the manufacture of this drink and with what intentions? They should also provide information on the extent of distribution channels for the deadly beverage in this particularly poor and landlocked part of the country.
Local health authorities believe that other cases could be reported given the villagers’ appetite for this cheap drink. In hospitals, in particular in Bomba, 27 people are still under observation.