Health Workers, Parents and Teachers Concerned By 134 Karen Students Hospitalized After Drinking Poisoned Water

Villagers are worried for their health after 134 students were rushed to hospital after bird hunters may have poisoned community drinking water.

Villagers fear that their drinking water was poisoned after 134 school students in Tha Yet Taw village in Kyondoe, Kawkareik Township became sick and had to be hospitalized after drinking water from a school pond on Wednesday, September 23.

A teacher from the school said that the posioned students were admitted to Kyondoe and Kawkareik hospitals.

U Aung Thein, a deputy director for Kawkareik District Education Department told Karen News the poison might have been caused by a chemical in a pond where the school gets their water from.

“There is a pond close to the school where many egret birds live. Some people hunt the birds by feeding them with a chemical poison. The poison might have got into the water and the students drank the water from the pond.”

There are 229 students at Tha Yet Taw Middle School – 65 students were admitted to Kyondoe Hospital and 69 students admitted to Kawkareik Hospital.

A doctor treating the sick students spoke to Karen News about the their condition.

“The Director of our hospital went to the incident place. We are cooperating and following guidelines closely given by our department specializes in treating poison [cases]. We will still have to wait and see if there will be any serious cases. We will carefully examine all the cases and provide treatment according to the procedures.”

Ma Aye Pon, sister of Ma Nanda who drank from the poisoned water said she worried for her sister’s health.

“I came to the hospital immediately after we were told that she had been poisoned and admitted to hospital. I was very worried. Now she is getting better, but still feels dizzy. We have never experienced this kind of incident. This is the first time.”

According to hospital sources and the student’s relatives, there is no life threatening cases, but health workers are monitoring the students closely. Local civil society groups, non- governmental organization, including Save the Children and government officials from the administration and from the military provided the necessary support.

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