smaccDUB summary: Lead poisoning in Nigeria

smaccDUB summary: Lead poisoning in Nigeria

3872 2313 Kat Evans
[the below are rough notes taken by @kat__evans whilst attending the below talk]
The amazing Natalie Thurtle @turtle1doc spoke to us about Lead Poisoning outbreak in Zamfara, Nigeria.
The very first point she made is that her talk is in the Conference Stream called “Critical care out there’ Her involvement & story challenges out entire concept of what does critical care actual MEAN out there.

What happened?

  • This was the largest severe acute lead poisoning outbreak on record in the world. Was secondary to informal gold mining that began in the area.
  • A certain village at the epicentre of mining – the village denied mining, denied child deaths (concealed them) Didn’t bring their children for free chelation.
  • As issue became more public the mining moved “underground” – processing was done in homes where children lived – made problem worse.
  • Chelation was performed on 5000 children from surrounding villages
  • As a medical organisation this is extremely challenging – no point in doing chelation on children if don’t fix the underlying cause.
  • Actual priority: Who does the:
    • Remediation (clean the mess)?
    • Safer mining (turn off the tap)?

Biggest Challenges

  • Access! Check out www.missingmaps.org which is trying to crowdsource to improve access to aid workers in various areas of the world
  • Fear & Cultural misunderstanding
    • We assumed their priority was their children not dying. We assumed they knew that their actions affected their outcome.
  • Mixed messages between different organisations.
    • Many people
    • Many conversations (loud people heard, quiet people not)
    • Different languages
    • Different cultures
    • Different agendas
  • Below is a slide from the talk showing various agencies involved

Thurtle

Kat Evans

Emergency Medicine Physician in Cape Town, South Africa. Looking for solutions to our unique EM challenges with a quadruple burden of disease.

All stories by:Kat Evans

Leave a Reply

Kat Evans

Emergency Medicine Physician in Cape Town, South Africa. Looking for solutions to our unique EM challenges with a quadruple burden of disease.

All stories by:Kat Evans