Form Four Student Dies After Consuming Sanitizer, 5 Others Go Blind

KEY POINTS:

  • A Form Four student of Kaputir Mixed Secondary School in Turkana South has died after drinking hand sanitizer, while five others have gone blind.
  • The six male learners, aged between 16 and 17, consumed the substance rich in alcohol.

A Form Four student of Kaputir Mixed Secondary School in Turkana South has died after drinking hand sanitizer, while five others have gone blind.

The six male learners, aged between 16 and 17, consumed the substance rich in alcohol on Saturday, February 20.

The five, who are now visually challenged, say they regret taking the harmful substance.

A survivor said he was lucky to be alive because “I drank from a cup which had a mixture of the hand sanitizer and water”.

“I am, however, feeling pain in the throat and stomach,” he said.

Some of the students, whose parents couldn’t afford emergency medical attention, are still receiving basic care at the school’s medical clinic.

The school’s principal refused to comment on the matter.

Parents at the school said they want clarity about the incident, because none of the high-ranking teachers has communicated to them.

“We are demanding the principal resigns, and the board of governors sent packing over the negligence, said a parent.

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The body of the victim was taken to a Turkana hospital morgue, awaiting burial this week.

Education CS George Magoha had earlier on banned the use of hand sanitizer in schools.

The CS who spoke at Our Lady of Fatima Secondary School in Kariobangi, Nairobi County, noted that some students have been using sanitizer to start fires in schools.

“I want to tell teachers that they must not allow small-bottle sanitizer into schools.

“If any child has portable sanitizer, it should be taken and kept and given when the child is leaving school,” said Magoha.

He cited an incident where the sanitizers were used to start a fire in a school.

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