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‘Alarming Rise’ In Child Food Poisoning In South Africa As 41 Children Hospitalised

More than 41 toddlers were taken to hospital in South Africa on Monday after mistaking rat poison for sweets.

“Upon medical examination, 17 were admitted for overnight observation, while the remaining 24 were discharged home in a satisfactory condition,” regional health authorities for Gauteng said.

Also on Monday, a group of 10 people including eight children were referred to a different hospital in the same province.

“Upon medical examination of the 41 children, a total of 17 were admitted yesterday [Monday] afternoon at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital for overnight observation, while the remaining 24 were discharged home in a satisfactory condition. This incident is reported to have taken place at a preschool and investigations are being conducted to establish more facts,” said Rabothata.

“Another food poisoning incident has been reported where 10 people [two adults and eight children] were referred to Thelle Mogoerane Regional Hospital in Ekurhuleni, from Ramokonopi Community Health Centre, on Monday night, the 15th of April 2024.

“The two adults were discharged after receiving medical care last [Monday] night, and two children were also discharged this morning while the six remaining children are still admitted in the hospital and in a stable condition.”

Health authorities say this is all part of an “alarming” overall rise in food poisoning cases – with a total of 863 such incidents reported since last October.

They’re advising parents and guardians to take greater care to protect children, and say anybody with food-poisoning symptoms – such as nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach aches – should visit their nearest health centre as quickly as possible.

According to the provincial department of health, since October 2023, there have been 863 food poisoning incidents in Gauteng, resulting in the deaths of 11 people. The department is urging all sectors of society, especially parents and caregivers, to take action to protect children from food poisoning risks, ensuring their well-being and preventing future incidents.

“The Gauteng department of health is deeply concerned about the alarming rise in incidents of food poisoning, particularly when it affects children,” said department acting director of communications Khutso Rabothata.

Source | ZiMetro


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