UAE | Health

Sharjah toddler dies of food poisoning after family evening out

Police try to track source of contamination as girl’s brother fights for life

  • By Aghaddir Ali, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 19:18 September 3, 2012
  • Gulf News

Habiba Hesham Abdul Rahman
  • Image Credit: Supplied picture
  • Habiba Hesham Abdul Rahman was buried on Sunday in Sharjah following confirmation by doctors and police that she had died of food poisoning.

Sharjah: Authorities are trying to determine the source of food contamination believed to have led to the death of a two-year-old on Saturday after her family bought food items from two different locations, Gulf News has learnt.

The toddler’s six-year-old brother was fighting for his life at Al Qasimi Hospital in Sharjah at the time of going to press on Monday as a Friday night outing turned into tragedy for the Egyptian family.

The girl, Habiba Hesham Abdul Rahman, was buried on Sunday in Sharjah following confirmation by doctors and police that she had died of food poisoning. Her brother Abdul Rahman remains under observation in a critical condition.

“Habiba was buried in Sharjah and we pray to Allah to send her to paradise,” her father Hesham Abdul Rahman told Gulf News on Monday. “This is a test from Allah and thanks to Him for everything. Now we pray to Allah to save Abdul Rahman and that he will recover soon.”

“Doctors determined that the death was caused by food poisoning,” a police official told Gulf News. The case is being investigated by Sharjah Police and the body was transferred to a forensic laboratory for autopsy before it was handed over to the family for the last rites, the official said.

The source of the food contamination has not been ascertained but the father said his children had eaten food stuff purchased from two separate locations.

At a grocery store in Sharjah, the family purchased “water, juice and crisps” which the children consumed, the father said. Later in the evening, the father said he bought a box of candy after they “stopped in a shopping mall and children chose what they wanted”.

“On Friday when we returned home my children started vomiting and their condition became worse. I took them to a private hospital where they gave them injections and some tablets to stop the vomiting. Later, when we returned back home again around 2:30am the children started throwing up again,” the father said. “Then I took them to Al Qasimi hospital.”

According to the father, Sharjah Municipality has started an investigation. Municipal officials took samples of the leftover food for medical testing.

Dr Khalid Khalfan, paediatric surgery consultant at Al Qasimi Hospital, confirmed on Monday that both children had fallen ill after consuming unhygienic food.

In such cases, the police inform the Sharjah Municipality, which then sends a team including inspectors and doctors to check the suspected source of the poisoning.

Comments (15)

  1. Added 18:04 September 4, 2012

    I used to eat in some favorite cafeteria. I would suggest also the Authorities to do a necessary sanitary inspection because i've noticed some kitchen crews are not using proper hygiene when preparing the food. Sometimes i just closed my eyes not to see them because i need to eat, no choice but if this will cause a problem for people we can solve it at the earliest possible time. Better to do a surprise visit to all cafeterias twice a month.

    anne, sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 16:59 September 4, 2012

    My both kids got food poisoning after eating jelly/candy from mall couple of months ago and were hospitalized. These sweets were brought from the candy stall found in most malls and you can choose the type and amount of it. So please don't let your kids buy those, as this idea is itself very unhygienic because these candies are not in close packaging.

    S.P, Abu dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 16:58 September 4, 2012

    The authorities should investigate the hospital as well, the 2 year old baby might have been mishandled. If the medical staff had given an injection to a 2 year old infant, that means the baby is in critical condition and they should not have sent her out of the hospital to recover at home. that is food poisoning not just ordinary vomiting or ordinary illness.

    JG, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 16:04 September 4, 2012

    Its a very sad news! that for eating chips and Juice parents have lost their cute flower! It's been noticed that some groceries are keeping food stuff directly in sunlight, secondly some keep switching off their refrgrators to save on electricity bills, keep old stock and do not check properly exipry of products! muncipality must close down such stores who really do not care for these points!

    MANOJ KUMAR GURNANI, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 15:54 September 4, 2012

    may Allah bless this small girl with jannah and i hope that her brother gets well soon and is blessed with good health ...

    Omar Farooq.M.Seddiqi, sharjah, Pakistan

  6. Added 15:16 September 4, 2012

    This is really sad. Reading this news report, I couldn't help but ask these questions: 1. What other foods were given to the children aside from the reported "water, juice, crisps and candies"? 2. When the children started vomiting, what immediate actions did the parents take prior to taking them to the private hospital? 3. What was the diagnosis of the private hospital prior to giving the tablets and injections? Which tablets were given to the children to stop the vomiting? Did the private hospital implement the right course of action by stopping the vomiting? 4. After returning home from the private hospital, what more did the parents do to take care of the children's condition? A situation like this shouldn't be only focused on the consumed foodstuff. The remedial actions by the parents and hospitals should also be investigated. This is no simple matter and everyone concerned should take full responsibility.

    Fatima, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 14:07 September 4, 2012

    May Allah help this family with Sabr and speedy recovery to the kid under treatment. Ya Allah please help this family please!

    Abbas, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 13:58 September 4, 2012

    First of all COLD MILK is the best to take out all the bacteria and clean the stomach. Why did the doctors gave them injections and tablets and sent them home? Tablets to a toddler????????

    Maya, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 13:54 September 4, 2012

    May Allah bless her. It is so painfull to hear such story, but why the Doctor send them back to home? action should be taken against the Doctor. It is irresponsable to send them back home in such conditon.

    Huda, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 13:14 September 4, 2012

    Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi rajioon..!! Indeed a very sad moment and tough time for the family. may Allah provide a place in Jannat to the little soul and give strength and patience to the family.

    Kashif, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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