The Minister of State for health Fidelis Nwankwo said that the death toll in the lead poisoning case in Niger state has risen to 28. The minister says thee cases recorded in Niger state is 68. According to Dr Nasir Gwarzo, the 28 dead were children the incident affected livestock like goats, cows and chickens. He warned that consuming these animals were dangerous as it could lead to convulsion in children and ailments like hypertension and diabetes in adults. They advised miners to stop their activities for now. The communities affected are Shikira,Magiro and Kawo in Rafi local government.
Earlier on Wednesday the minister of state Fidelis Nwankwo has said the children that died were below five years. According to Nwankwo, ‘the lead poisoning was confirmed and it is confirmed that most of the people affected are children below the age of five years. The affected children were found to be very high. Serum lead levels of between 171.5 – 224ug Pb/dl (normal is less than 10ug Pb/dl). That means 17 – 22 times higher than the acceptable limits, as established by the World Health Organisation.
‘The rapid assessment by the NCDC/PMOH/MMSD revealed that as at May 12, 2015, 65 cases and 27 deaths had occurred giving a case fatality rate of 43 per cent. All the 27 cases were children were below the age of five made up of 17 females and 11 males.
Additionally, the findings revealed a serious impact on our livestock with cow, goats and chickens most affected. The devastating impact of this outbreak is associated with the new mining sites which were found to contain leaded ores which are often brought home for crushing and processing.’
‘It is disingenuous to accuse everyone who calls for restructuring as trying to break up the county. History tells us that that kind of cheap blackmail will not work as long as the underlying reasons for the agitations persist.’
‘The biggest challenge seems to be that we seem to be allowing moderate voices on this issue to be drowned out by the reckless utterances of a few rabble rousers on all sides who may be tools in the hands of those who do not wish this country well. These are some of the people who arrogate to themselves the toga of spokespersons of our diverse groups.’
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