Jamaica: Health ministry issues warning after students in St Thomas fall ill from pills

Jamaica: Health ministry issues warning after students in St Thomas fall ill from pills

(JAMAICA GLEANER) – The Ministry of Health is monitoring the health of 19 students from a primary school in St Thomas who ingested unprescribed tablets that were sold to them by an unauthorised person.

The Gleaner reported last Friday that a man entered the school compound on September 13 and again on September 14 selling the tablets which he reportedly said would enhance the students’ speed.

The students reportedly began displaying signs of illness shortly after consuming the pills.

Eighteen students were subsequently taken to the Princess Margaret Hospital and one taken to a private doctor for treatment.

The health ministry, in a statement, said at the time of the incident some of the children had symptoms, with the most common symptom being abdominal pain followed by drowsiness.

According to the ministry, all except one child was clinically well on assessment, with that one child being diagnosed and treated for mild allergy.

“The 18 children seen at the [hospital] had blood investigations done that were normal but the Liver Function Tests remain outstanding. The children will be reviewed with these results and parents/guardians have been advised to return immediately if any problems arise with the children.”

The health ministry is urging parents and teachers to be alert for persons who will try to sell or give substances to children.

“These items may appear harmless and look like familiar items such as sweets and so often are attractive to children.

“Parents are to educate children on the potential harm of these substances and in particular for them to emphatically refuse any unknown substances from persons known to them or from strangers.

“In the event of the accidental or intentional ingestion of suspicious items, it is advised to seek immediate medical attention.”


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