Effort to quit alcohol ends tragically for two Tanzanian men as medicine kills them

What you need to know:

  • The community remains in mourning over the tragic loss of these two lives, highlighting the dangers associated with unregulated traditional medicine practices.

Katavi. In their quest to quit excessive alcohol consumption, two members of the same family tragically lost their lives due to the medicine they were given.

The incident occurred on July 9, 2024, at 4 PM in Kazima Street, Mpanda Municipality, Katavi region.

Speaking to The Citizen, Jastin Patrick, uncle of the deceased Paulo Mbalimba and Dismas Malimba, explained that the family had decided to seek traditional healers to help their loved ones stop drinking, as their alcohol consumption had become uncontrollable.

"It is true our relatives died after drinking alcohol cessation medicine because they were behaving erratically, which led us, as their family, to discuss how to rescue them from excessive alcohol consumption," he said.

"The first healer came and prepared medicine for them, but it didn't help them quit. We continued searching and found another healer who came and made them a new potion. They drank it suddenly and died," he added.

Patrick further revealed that the healer did not allow family members to witness the preparation of the medicine, only providing updates on the progress.

"Before giving them the medicine, the healer asked what type of traditional alcohol they had been drinking – gongo, wanzuki, and komoni – and instructed us to bring some for mixing with the medicine along with raw honey," Patrick said.

"After mixing the alcohol, honey, and medicine, he heated it and gave it to them to drink. They began vomiting, and their strength started to wane. He assured us they would recover, but later he returned to inform us they had fainted, only to realize they had already passed away. The healer took advantage of the situation to escape and disappear," Patrick continued.

The Kazima Street chairman Flavian Kisali confirmed the tragic incident, saying, "It is true I have received information that two members of the same family in my area lost their lives."

According to the family, worn out by their drinking habits, they sought out traditional healers to administer medicine in hopes of curbing their alcohol addiction.

"I urge the community, especially in my area, to understand that there are indeed people who drink excessively, causing nuisance. However, they should not believe in witchcraft practices that lead to fatal consequences and other problems in society," Kisali emphasized.

"It is crucial to educate them on methods that will help them quit drinking, rather than turning to fraudulent traditional healers."

The community remains in mourning over the tragic loss of these two lives, highlighting the dangers associated with unregulated traditional medicine practices.