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By Chulumanco Mahamba

Digital Night Supervisor

Two toddlers in West Rand die after eating ‘poisoned’ snacks

It is suspected that four children had food poisoning after eating snacks bought from a taxi rank.

Two children, aged two and three, from the West Rand died after allegedly eating poisoned snacks from a local taxi rank.

Gauteng police spokesperson Colonel Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi confirmed that the police in Bekkersdal, West Rand, are investigating two inquest dockets after the deaths of the two toddlers.

Second poisoning incident 

This latest incident of alleged food poisoning happened four days after two children died on Sunday in Naledi, Soweto, while three other children were receiving medical treatment.

Nevhuhulwi said that it is suspected that four children, between the ages of two and seven, had food poisoning after eating snacks bought from a local taxi rank.

ALSO READ: Food poisoning source in Soweto children deaths ‘not confirmed’

“The other two kids are still in the hospital. At this stage, the cause of death is unknown, pending postmortem results,” she said.

The police said the investigation continues.

Poisoned sweets and chips

The Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH) confirmed that the four children were boys aged two, three, four, and six years, and they allegedly consumed sweets and chips from a vendor at West Deep in Westonaria.

The department said the deceased boys were declared dead on arrival at Bekkersdal West Community Health Centre, while the other two, both in stable condition, were transferred to Leratong Hospital for observation and further management.

ALSO READ: Expired biscuits: Trauma at kids’ deaths, questions surround spaza shop

“The recent tragedy brings to four the number of children who died from food poisoning-related incidents in as many days. The GDoH would like to pass on its heartfelt condolences to the families that have lost their loved ones and also wish speedy recovery to those who are currently admitted at
hospitals,” GDoH said.

The department added that outbreak response teams in both Johannesburg and West Rand districts continue to be on the ground in Naledi, West Deep, and surrounding areas, engaging locals and conducting health education.

Trauma counselling

The GDoH said it has offered trauma counselling services to the affected families.

It further urged the public to visit their nearest health facilities when they present with symptoms such as vomiting, sudden chest pains, body aches and weakness, fever, or foam in the mouth.

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