Poisoning kills 28 children in Niger.

At least 28 children under the age of five
have been killed by drinking stream water
contaminated with lead in Niger State,
the Minister of State for Health, Fidelis
Nwankwo said, and officials blamed the
contamination on illegal mining.

Villagers “were mining for gold, and (the
water was made toxic) by its impurities,”
Reuters quoted Mohammed Usman, a
government health official in Niger state,
as saying on Friday.

Nwankwo said on Thursday that 28 out
of 65 children who became ill from the
contamination had died.

“The villagers initially ascribed the infections to witchcraft, but it must have being going for years,” Usman said,
reports suggested the deaths were in April.

“The affected children were found to have high serum lead levels – 17 to 22 times higher than the acceptable limits
as established by the World Health Organisation (WHO),” Nwankwo said.

Source:The Nation
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