Abeng Central

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Poisonous traditional drink claims victims in Suriname and French Guyana

ALBINA – An unknown number of men living on the border of Suriname and French Guyana have suffered health problems after consuming a dose of a herbal drink (‘bita batra’),  from a batch that has turned out to be poisonous.

Five men have died. At least twenty are complaining of stomach age, paralysis, mouth soars and blackening skin. They are receiving treatment by medical doctors and bush doctors.

dWT photo/ Hugo den Boer
Poison victims at an emergency shelter in Papatam near the home of bush doctor Dewini Manpikin, who gives them frequent herbal baths to heal their spiritual strength and oral medications to cleanse their blood.
Manpikin stresses that victims first consult a medical doctor and come to him only secondly, in case western treatment fails to generate results.

Bita batra (‘bitter bottle’) is a bitter drink brewed from strong liquor and dried aromatic plant substances. It is used traditionally, for a variety of purposes.

Mystery still surrounds the identity of the person(s) who prepared the drink. Nor is it known whether its poisonous effect was meant intentionally or occured accidentally. ‘Bita batra’ can become poisonous through led contamination or viral chemical reactions, explains doctor Clifton Rozenblad.

In reaction to the medical cases, French authorities have issued a prohibition order for the sale of ‘bita batra’ in French Guyana.

Source: de Ware Tijd online

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This entry was posted on July 30, 2009 by in Suriname News and tagged , , , .