Some 150 children from across Ghana are receiving medical attention at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) after mistaking caustic soda for drinking water.
Doctors at the theatres of the premier hospital say each of the affected children needs a repair or a replacement of the throat (the food pipe) which has been seriously damaged by the corrosive substance.
“In fact, it’s becoming very rampant. It’s assuming an alarming proportion and I think something has to be done to curtail it; otherwise, we would have a very big challenge on our hands.
Every week, we have one or two children coming with a burnt throat after mistakenly drinking caustic soda. Occasionally we get adults also.
The caustic soda, as it is, once it is dissolved, is as clear as water. It’s colourless; it’s odourless. The worst thing is that they store it in these water bottles and mineral water bottles.
“So, even as an adult when you see it and you are not told that it’s caustic soda, you might mistake it to be water and you will drink it.
It’s a very dangerous thing. The earlier something is done about it, the better. The authorities should come in and regulate access to this substance because it shouldn’t be sold on the market like that,” a paediatric surgeon at the hospital, Dr Michael Amoah, revealed.
A Ghanaian musician, Afari Gyan, voluntarily in raising funds in the streets for one of the children who misidentified caustic soda for drinking water whilst his parents were away.
According to the Afari Gyan, “At times, I use the morning hours to attend to my business, to sell my CDs; then, I spend the rest of the day on the fundraising travels.”
The boy’s mother is no longer part of the tour. She bore a child just three weeks ago and had to take a break from the extra burden of the indefinite fundraising trips for her son whilst she was also heavy with another child.
“I’m a poor farmer. I’m begging everybody in Ghana to think of God and help my child out of this problem. I don’t have any help from anywhere. I have nowhere to take my problem to. I’m tired.
I need help from any human being,” the father to the ailing boy pleaded desperately in an interview with Starr News.
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