Grade Zero pupils in hospi­tal af­ter drink­ing roach poi­son

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Nqo­bile Tshili

THREE Grade Zero A pupils from Mgiqika Pri­mary School in Bulawayo’s Nketa 9 sub­urb cheated death af­ter they ate a pesticide that they mis­took for pow­dered drink­ing syrup.

Pan­icky teach­ers rushed the in­fants to Mpilo Cen­tral Hospi­tal when they started vom­it­ing and writhing in pain on Mon­day.

One of the chil­dren al­legedly brought a cock­roach killing pesticide called Green Leaf and told his friends it was Jolly Juice pow­dered syrup.

Sources said the in­fants sprin­kled the pesticide on the bread they had brought for lunch.

A source from the school who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity said one of the pupils vom­ited blood.

The source said teach­ers were afraid the child would die at the school.

“There are three Grade Zero chil­dren who ate some poi­son. We’re told they started com­plain­ing of stom­ach pains while they threw up. This led to them be­ing rushed to Mpilo Cen­tral Hospi­tal for treat­ment. They’re now back in school and they started to­day (yes­ter­day),” said the source.

“It was hec­tic as teach­ers prob­a­bly thought they would be blamed if the pupils died at the school. Their re­sponse was quick and am­bu­lances ar­rived early.”

Mpilo Cen­tral Hospi­tal’s act­ing pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer Ma­tron Sibu­sisiwe Ndlovu yes­ter­day said the three in­fants were ad­mit­ted on Mon­day and dis­charged the same day.

“They were ad­mit­ted for food poi­son­ing on Mon­day and dis­charged the same day. They came for re­view the fol­low­ing day and it was con­cluded that they were okay,” said Ma­tron Ndlovu.

She said the in­ci­dent was a clear case of par­ents plac­ing danger­ous chem­i­cals within the reach of chil­dren.

“I won­der how they got Green Leaf, a cock­roach killing pesticide. This means that there is a prob­lem with par­ents who leave these pes­ti­cides near chil­dren. Par­ents should be cau­tious and keep poi­sons where chil­dren can’t ac­cess them,” Ma­tron Ndlovu said.

Mqiqika Pri­mary School’s head­mistress de­clined to com­ment, say­ing she was not aware of the in­ci­dent.

“I don’t know any­thing of that na­ture, maybe it hap­pened in my ab­sence. You can call the provin­cial education of­fices maybe they have the in­for­ma­tion,” she said.

Res­i­dents who spoke to The Chron­i­cle said they were aware of the in­ci­dent and the in­fants were now back in school.

Bulawayo Provin­cial Education Direc­tor, Mr Dan Moyo, said he was not aware of the in­ci­dent.

He, how­ever, urged par­ents to pay close at­ten­tion to the ac­tiv­i­ties of their chil­dren.

“Chil­dren should be guarded at all times be it in schools and at home. We all know that chil­dren are fond of ex­per­i­ment­ing. But their be­hav­iour also de­pends on what they are taught at home. Par­ents should teach their chil­dren not eat things that they are not cer­tain about,” said Mr Moyo.

In May, 32 Grade Two pupils from Manond­wane Pri­mary School in Nketa 7 sub­urb in Bulawayo were rushed to Mpilo Cen­tral Hospi­tal af­ter eat­ing poi­sonous Ja­t­ropha fruits.

This prompted the Min­istry of Pri­mary and Sec­ondary Education to or­der the cut­ting of all Ja­t­ropha trees at schools.

Bulawayo provin­cial education direc­tor, Mr Dan Moyo

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