Following a scare during the 2018 Region 5 Youth games held in Gaborone, officials have since explained that the diarrhoea outbreak had nothing to do with food poisoning and bottled water.
Speculation was rife that the diarrhoea was caused by food or water supplied during the games.
However African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 chief executive officer, Stanley Mutoya told Sport Monitor that they had a competent medical team during the games. He said they carried out thorough research and investigation into the diarrhoea outbreak.
“The investigation established that the outbreak had nothing to do with bottled water or the food that the participants ate. This happens at every game because people move from different countries and their body systems react differently to the environment and the food. It is not because it is contaminated,” he said.
Mutoya said a lot of cases that were reported had nothing to do with food poisoning and it is something that they had expected since it happens even in major games such as Olympics, Commonwealth and All Africa Games.
He said the incidents did not expose the athletes to risks. He said the medical team had informed them after conducting research about the timeline it would phase out. Mutoya said during the games, Gaborone was hot and because of dehydration, the bodies had to react in a certain way. “That is what was presented as diarrhea symptoms. The numbers that were treated were insignificant compared to the numbers that were at the games,” Mutoya said.
“We had over 2,000 people but the infected were less than 50. It is nothing to be alarmed about and we had similar isolated cases in the past. There was thorough food handling investigations that were done.” The Region 5 technical organ met over the weekend at Travel Lodge to evaluate the games.
The evaluation meeting was attended by nine confederations that were in the games and all the regional organising committee members who were responsible for the games. Meanwhile, Mutoya said they conducted 100 anti-doping tests and 94 of the results have come out and they were negative.
He said the remaining six cases are still undergoing further analysis because of the advice from the lab that was conducting the tests in Bloomfontein.
He said it does mean there are any traces of banned substances but they are just seeking second opinion from another lab.