3 pupils in hospital after drinking a pesticide they mistook for powdered drinking syrup

THREE Grade Zero A pupils from Mgiqika Primary School in Bulawayo’s Nketa 9 suburb cheated death after they ate a pesticide that they mistook for powdered drinking syrup.

Panicky teachers rushed the infants to Mpilo Central Hospital when they started vomiting and writhing in pain on Monday.

One of the children allegedly brought a cockroach killing pesticide called Green Leaf and told his friends it was Jolly Juice powdered syrup.

Sources said the infants sprinkled the pesticide on the bread they had brought for lunch.

A source from the school who spoke on condition of anonymity said one of the pupils vomited blood.

The source said teachers were afraid the child would die at the school.


“There are three Grade Zero children who ate some poison. We’re told they started complaining of stomach pains while they threw up. This led to them being rushed to Mpilo Central Hospital for treatment. They’re now back in school and they started today (yesterday),” said the source.

“It was hectic as teachers probably thought they would be blamed if the pupils died at the school. Their response was quick and ambulances arrived early.”

Mpilo Central Hospital’s acting public relations officer Matron Sibusisiwe Ndlovu yesterday said the three infants were admitted on Monday and discharged the same day.

“They were admitted for food poisoning on Monday and discharged the same day. They came for review the following day and it was concluded that they were okay,” said Matron Ndlovu.

She said the incident was a clear case of parents placing dangerous chemicals within the reach of children.

“I wonder how they got Green Leaf, a cockroach killing pesticide. This means that there is a problem with parents who leave these pesticides near children. Parents should be cautious and keep poisons where children can’t access them,” Matron Ndlovu said.

Mqiqika Primary School’s headmistress declined to comment, saying she was not aware of the incident.

“I don’t know anything of that nature, maybe it happened in my absence. You can call the provincial education offices maybe they have the information,” she said.

Residents who spoke to The Chronicle said they were aware of the incident and the infants were now back in school.

Bulawayo provincial education director, Mr Dan Moyo, said he was not aware of the incident.

He, however, urged parents to pay close attention to the activities of their children.

“Children should be guarded at all times be it in schools and at home. We all know that children are fond of experimenting. But their behaviour also depends on what they are taught at home. Parents should teach their children not eat things that they are not certain about,” said Mr Moyo.

In May, 32 Grade Two pupils from Manondwane Primary School in Nketa 7 suburb in Bulawayo were rushed to Mpilo Central Hospital after eating poisonous Jatropha fruits.

This prompted the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to order the cutting of all Jatropha trees at schools.-chronicle