Saturday, April 20, 2024

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

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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

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.

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.

10 COMMENTS

    • thanks for the advise if you have intentions of starting a family kabwe is a big NO.by the way what has happened to the kabwe factory that was supposedly commissioned for operations just before the 11 august 2016 elections? deadnbc showed us some happy people spinning some cotton,what has happened to that election great shinga butter idea? people will never learn.

  1. Kabwe being one of the highly polluted towns in the world has been made known to previous and present governments.
    It is unfortunate that no discernable action has been taken to address this grave situation in Kabwe.
    The Lead, Mercury and other Heavy Metal pollutants are not only adversely affecting Children, but the entire Denizens of Kabwe, including sojourners.
    Heavy Metal poisoning contributes to still- born Children, Birth Defects, Stunted and Dull Children, Neurological and Cognitive Disorders, Deformities, Insanity and Death in Children.
    Adults are not spared either. Miscarriages, infertility, Impotence, Low sperm count, Personality and Mood Disorders, Irritability, Anti social behavior, Suicidal tendencies, Hate and desire to kill, Hermitic and Reclusive Lifestyles,…

    • I challenge you, col SG, to back your comment with facts. The ailments you have tabulated are even more pronounced elsewhere than in Kabwe. In fact, the author said the real impact on Kabwe’s people is unknown. Let’s not blow the problem out of proportion.

  2. Heavy Metal poisoning is the leading cause of CANCER and other Cancerous tumors, ailments and Death.
    It also adversely affect Eyesight.

  3. Himusa should have asked someone else to report with politically correct name like:
    Mwila
    Lungu
    This is serious business

  4. Quote, the real impact on the community is unknown… read post by col sg musonda.
    If a layman can tell you the outcomes why can’t government, why can’t succesive formulate an ongoing programme
    $42 million wpuld help in education and cleanup. Pursue the mining companies for reparations,
    Dont worry about the slag heap black Mountain concentrate on the toxic chemicals being dumped and discharged in our rivers, what is our toothless evironmental ministry doing to force a change of practice to the leaching practices of the mining companies
    There wont be a zambia for our future generations if we dont act now

  5. Kabwe is is the most contaminated towns due to lead.It is not a closed but what has successive governments done? How do you allow people especially children to go near the toxic lead mountain?
    Where is the environmental council of Zambia, Ministry of Health ,local authorities? This is preposterous
    How do you allow such a situation to go unattended for decades.Why spend millions persecuting innocent citizens due to their opposing political opinion while innocent victims wallow in toxic environment?

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