Nigeria: Deadly lead poisoning continues

2012-05-11 07:39

Abuja - An official with Doctors without Borders says a deadly lead poisoning crisis in north Nigeria continues unstopped two years after the outbreak began.

Ivan Gayton told journalists on Thursday in Nigeria's capital Abuja that more needed to be done now to stop the outbreak. Gayton said 4 000 children in rural villages in Zamfara state have been affected, with 1 500 of them not receiving any treatment.

Gayton also called Nigeria's government refusing to send high-level officials to discuss the outbreak at a conference "a great disappointment".

The outbreak began in 2010. The lead poisoning is caused by the processing of gold ore in residential compounds, where people are exposed to toxic levels of lead found in rocks containing the gold.