At least 71 female students of Government Girls Secondary School, Kalgo, Kebbi State have been hospitalised as a result of food poisoning.
The Principal of the school, Hajiya Gwamma Sakaba, said the students were hospitalised after eating contaminated food bought from vendors selling food on the school premises.
Sakaba said immediately the incident occurred, the authorities alerted the local government sole administrator, officials of both the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health to investigate the matter. She said: “The students just went on break and later all of them started complaining of stomach pain while some of them collapsed. We quickly informed the officials of the Ministry of Health who visited the school and took the sample of the food for testing as well as the blood of the victims.
They discovered that it was poisoning caused by the palm oil used to cook the food.” The Sole Administrator of Kalgo Local Government Area, Alhaji Musa Hassan, confirmed this in an interview with journalists at his residence at the weekend.
Hassan said that the food vendor and the palm oil seller had been arrested by the police. He explained that the condition of three of the 71 students was more critical than others. According to him, the Deputy Governor, Ismail Yombe, has directed that the students be treated at Sayahya Hospital, Birnin Kebbi.
The sole administrator added that no life was lost due to the immediate action taken by government to save the lives of the students. He said: “When the incident happened on Thursday, we took them to primary health care and they were given treatment. Some of them became well but the others are still in the hospital.” Hassan added that the students ate pasta but the poison came through the palm oil used to cook the food.
Also, a police officer, who did not want his name in print, confirmed that the food vendor and the palm oil seller had been arrested. He added that the case had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Birnin-Kebbi.
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