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Over 150 children undergoing treatment for lead poisoning in Zamfara

The Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), an international non-governmental organisation (NGO), says no fewer than 150 children affected with lead poisoning in Zamfara State are still undergoing treatment.

Lead poisoning in Nigeria
Men work in the mines where they dig deep to find the rock and then crush these rocks to find the gold ore. Inside the rocks there is also deposits of other metals, one being lead which is poisoning children. Photo credit: sweetcrudereports.com

Dr. Simba Tirima, Deputy Head of Mission, MSF in Nigeria, disclosed this on Sunday, March 31, 2019 in Abuja.

In 2010, an unprecedented outbreak of lead poisoning was discovered in Zamfara, in which no fewer than 400 children died.

Eight years since the outbreak of the lead poisoning, MSF said that no fewer than 150 children are still being treated.

According to Tirima, MSF is funding the treatment of the affected children while the Federal and state governments are collaborating with MSF to ensure more children are not exposed to lead poison in all the affected villages.

The MSF boss said that, however, insecurity in the state had recently deprived the organisation from administering adequate treatment to the affected children.

“We have no fewer than 150 children in our treatment programme but due to insecurity in Zamfara, we have not been able to visit some of the villages where our patients are,” he said.

Tirima said that MSF had stopped its treatment programme for children affected with lead poison in Niger State in October 2018.

The MSF deputy head of mission said that only 10 children were left on its treatment programme in Niger and they had been handed over to the state government.

No fewer than 30 lead affected children died in Niger in 2015. 

By Francisca Oluyole

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