Thursday, 11 January 2018 09:22

ZAMBIA: Ministry of health allegedly collecting blood samples from children without parental consent in Kabwe

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Residents in Kabwe’s Makululu settlement in Central province are dismayed that the Ministry of Health is collecting blood samples from children without parental consent.

Children playing with bottle tops in the dust in Chowa township in Kabwe. The dust is highly contaminated with lead, which is extremely toxic.
Photograph: Larry C Price for the Guardian

Kabwe is the world’s most toxic town, according to pollution experts, where mass lead poisoning has almost certainly damaged the brains and other organs of generations of children – and where children continue to be poisoned every day.The real impact on Kabwe’s people is unknown and, while the first steps towards a clean-up have begun, new dangers are emerging as desperately poor people scavenge in the vast slag heap known as Black Mountain.

Speaking with radio Musi O Tunya’s Michael Himusa Jr in Kabwe said residents are dismayed that the ministry is collecting blood samples from children without parental consent. He said residents have appealed to the Ministry of Health to seriously embark on community sensitization on the dangers caused by lead poisoning being illegally mined in the area.Residents fear that the mineral has become a hazard to children that are often playing in open spaces.The dust is highly contaminated with lead, which is extremely toxic.

Some children are continually coughing and bleeding from the nose after inhaling lead Poison Class 5, and their parents have called for community education on the dangers and for government to quickly put preventive measures in curbing the vice; saying the situation may become worse during the rainy season.

Meanwhile St. John Don Bosco Parish Priest in Kabwe’s Makululu, has expressed concern with stakeholder’s slow action to dressing lead poisoning issues in the area.

Fr. Micheal Wzietek added that despite Kabwe being rated among the world’s polluted places, relevant authorities seem not to be interested in dealing with the issue.

Fr. Wzietek, a Salesian Missionary working in Zambia for over 27 years now, further noted that Makululu’s pollution has come about because of illegal mining activities in Kabwe.

The Salesian of St. John Don Bosco parish priest, explained that the Parish has since started distributing free sachets of milk to Makululu residents to help neutralize the poison.

Source: Lusaka Times

Read 190 times Last modified on Thursday, 11 January 2018 09:29

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