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Paediatrician warns against use of palm oil as poison antidote


Red palm oil. PHOTO CREDIT:

A Paediatrician, Dr Ayobola Adebowale, has warned parents against using palm oil as a poison antidote for children to reduce mortality amongst children.

Adebowale, a Senior Registrar, Department of Paediatrics, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, said this through a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos.

She decried the increasing incidents of admission of children in the Intensive Care Units of the hospital after aspirating on palm oil in a bid to induce vomiting after ingesting poisonous substances.


“On a weekly basis, we receive at least one or two cases of such incidents, often leading to deaths among the children.

“If your child ingests poison, check the name of the poison and estimate the quantity, rush the child to a hospital and give them the information about the poison taken.

“In a lot of cases, the poison will have an antidote, which will be administered, some supportive care will be given to keep the baby alive,” she said.

The expert also advised parents against inducing vomiting by putting their hands in the child’s throat or force-feeding the child with palm oil.


“Once palm oil enters the airway, it seals it up and does not allow air move in or out,” she said.

Adebowale attributed the increasing incidence to culture and beliefs, noting that some people erroneously held on to the practice with the argument that palm oil was used as an antidote in the olden days.

According to her, advocacy should be improved toward changing such mindsets and beliefs among the populace to ensure the health and well-being of more children.

She appealed to the federal and state governments to improve on emergency care in the country, adding that an effective emergency system will reduce the rate at which people use crude methods as first aid during emergency situations.


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