Lead Poisoning Kills 28 In Niger State

Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu
Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu


The Federal Government has announced the deaths of 28 persons in Niger State as a result of lead poisoning.

Health officials said that the latest outbreak may be connected with new illegal mining sites that have sprung up in the states in recent weeks.

The illegally operated sites are said to contain large amounts of leaded ores.

Sixty-five cases have been reported in some villages in Rafi local government area.

Minister of State for Health, Fiddles Nwankwo, said most of the people affected are children below five years.

He expressed concern that there are signs that the poisoning could spread to neighbouring states.
Nwankwo, said that the poisoning was not contagious, if the people followed safer and healthier practices.

He advised the media to help in sensitizing the public to avoid mass hysteria noting that the situation had been brought under control.



    The minister said that the sick persons were already receiving treatment, adding that technical team raised confirmed the outbreak of lead poisoning and was also working out modalities on how it could be curtailed.

    “The rapid assessment by the National Centre for Disease Control and the federal and state ministries of health revealed that as at May 12, 65 cases and 28 deaths had occurred, giving a case fatality rate of 43 per cent,”Nwankwo stated.

    He added that all the 28 cases “were children below the age of five, comprising 17
    females and 11 males.

    He revealed that there had been a serious impact on livestock with cows, goats and chicken and urged miners to abide by the extant mining regulations and emerging guidelines.

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