By ABDULLAHI YAKUBU, Kano
Residents of Kano City were last week jolted by news of the spread of a juice mixed with an expired citric acid which became lethal, as three people were reported dead while hundreds were hospitalised.
The index case started with reports from a six-year-old who took the drink, after which blood stains were noticed in her urine, even as she vomited uncontrollably until she was taken for medical attention.
Our reporter visited some health facilities were victims like the index case were seen responding to treatment.
Opinions are however divided on the real cause of the problem. While some attributed it to water from the Dandolo Cemetary, the ministry of health dispelled that after they said tests showed that the ailment was linked to an expired citric acid used by juice producers.
Many parents interviewed at the Muhammad Abdullahi Wase Specialist Hospital and Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) attributed the disease to the local juice popularly known as zobo which their children took.
Hospitals have urged the state government to find those behind the sale of the ingredient used in preparing the juice.
Our correspondent reports that since last Saturday, more patients, mostly young men who drank the juice at various joints were being admitted at the Infectious Diseases Hospital.
Alhaji Surajo Dayyabu whose son was vomiting and had blood stains in his urine after taking the juice said, “My wife told me that the boy was not himself and that I should rush home. When I reached home I saw that he was unconscious and took him to the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital where they referred us to the IDH just as every other person.”
Dayyabu who came from Dala local government area said since the boy was admitted they carried out tests on him and it was established that he took the juice.
Malam Kabiru Ahmad said he took his younger brother to the IDH after he began to urinate with blood stains and vomited intermittently and when they put him on drips he regain consciousness.
“We were asked to conduct blood and urine tests and the boy is partially all right now, what remains is mild headache,” he said.
Malam Ahmad also told Leadership Sunday that doctors were doing their best in taking good care of the patients.
Our reporter also visited the emergency unit of the Mohammed Abdullahi Wase Specialist Hospital were victims were attended to.
While at the IDH our reporter contacted the chief medical director who declined comment.
At the Ministry of Health, the commissioner was absent and did not respond to text messages sent to him.
The state government later confirmed three persons dead and 183 hospitalized in connection with the juice.
The commissioner for health, Dr Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa, said it affected 13 local government areas of the state.
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