Tunisia: Deadly Tainted Alcohol Leaves 4 Dead, 40 Ill (Investigation Ongoing).
No fewer than four people died and 40 others were hospitalised in southern Tunisia after consuming contaminated alcohol, authorities said on Sunday.
Fethi Baccouche, the spokesperson for the Medenine court, who confirmed the incident, told AFP that an investigation has been initiated, and authorities have arrested the individual responsible for supplying the contaminated alcohol.
The exact cause of the poisoning remains unclear, with analysis of the alcohol ongoing. While most of the surviving victims have recovered and left the hospital, some required transfer to the capital Tunis for further treatment.
Tragically, this incident is not isolated. Tainted alcohol poisonings are a recurring issue in Tunisia, often with devastating consequences. In 2021, five lives were lost and 25 were hospitalised in Kasserine due to contaminated alcohol, and a similar incident in 2020 near Kairouan claimed six lives among 39 poisoned individuals.
The prevalence of homemade alcohol consumption, driven by its affordability compared to commercially available options, is particularly high in impoverished neighbourhoods and remote regions of Tunisia. This illegal practice puts lives at risk, as homemade alcohol often lacks proper quality control and hygiene measures.