My pikin means my baby in Nigerian pidgin and it is the name of a syrup against teething troubles and its pain in children.This syrup is a Nigerian made mixture and mothers usually give this mixture to children in teething pain.
Now 85 babies have been reported died on consuming this syrup and on examination the syrup was found contaminated with diethylene glycol,an engine coolant.This substance leads to organ failure when consumed and the children who consumed the killer medicine had fever vomiting diarrhea and inability to urinate.
The first instance of baby death due to the consumption of My pikin was reported early in last November and in December about 24 babies were reported dead.The total death until now is about 85 and it is not certain how many more might take place.
The literacy level in Nigeria is about 68 percent and in rural areas it is still lower than the state average as such quite a lot of people do not know what is happening around and they remain unaware of the dangers of this syrup.However the health officials have started collecting the bottles from both shops and homes.
This tragic case is similar to the milk scandal in China where contaminated milk killed unspecified number of children.The industry contaminated the milk to keep its protein level when added water to the milk.Here in Nigeria the syrup was contaminated with the engine coolant as a cheaper alternative to glycerin which thickens the syrup.
It is tragic that innocent children were mercilessly given to death by the greed of industry.The Govt.of Nigeria seems to have awakened to the gravity of the situation.