Grade 6 pupil plays nurse, injects playmates HIV SCARE FOR 12 MINORS
A GRADE Six pupil at a school in Bulawayo allegedly injected 12 children from Pelandaba suburb with an unknown substance, spreading panic among parents that the kids could have been infected with HIV.
Concerned parents rushed their children to Mpilo Central Hospital following the incident which happened on Monday at around 12 noon.
One of the parents told The Chronicle that the children were playing “doctors and nurses” when one of them found a syringe with a needle.
The Grade Six pupil, who cannot be named because she is a minor, assumed the role of a nurse and injected her friends with an unknown concoction at her home.
The pupil lives with her grandmother as her mother works in South Africa.
Another parent said it was worrying that children were able to access dangerous instruments like syringes and needles.
“We’re living in times where people are surviving with various ailments. For a child to have a syringe which she uses to prick other kids is worrying. We don’t even know who previously used the syringe and for what purposes,” he said.
He added: “In panic parents rushed their children to Mpilo as they suspected that their children could have been exposed to HIV. You can imagine the same needle was used on 12 children. These days some kids are born with HIV. Chances are high that if the needle was not infected in the first place, one of the 12 children could have infected others.”
A Chronicle news crew visited the suburb yesterday and the children had been taken to Mpilo Central Hospital for check ups.
Mrs Saliwe Nyoni, a relative to one of the parents whose child was injected, said she was praying that the children did not contract HIV or other diseases. “We’re told that she (Grade Six pupil) called the children to her home where she injected them with an unknown substance. The children were taken to Mpilo yesterday after the parents learnt of what had happened. We just hope the children will not contract any diseases,” said Mrs Nyoni. Mpilo Central Hospital clinical director Dr Solwayo Ngwenya said nine children were admitted to the hospital following the incident. “We’re worried about this incident. So far all necessary preventive steps have been taken so we can’t really say it’s a life threatening situation,” said Dr Ngwenya.
“The fact is we don’t like to hear that dangerous things such as syringes, needles, razors, poisons and matches are being left within reach of children.”
He said parents and other grown-ups had a duty to ensure they never leave such things where children can reach them.
“Additionally, children should be taught not to touch or play with these dangerous objects if they come across them,” said Dr Ngwenya.
A medical doctor who declined to be named for professional reasons said needles used more than once were dangerous because they could expose people to HIV, hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV).
He said to prevent infections, victims should be taken for post-exposure prophylaxis within a few hours of exposure for some infections and about 72 hours for HIV.— @nqotshili.
Mrs Saliwe Nyoni
Dr Solwayo Ngwenya
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