Sharjah: Police sources have confirmed the cause of death of a two-year-old child in Sharjah as chemical poisoning due to pesticides, Gulf News has learnt.
Habiba Rahman was rushed to hospital last week along with her brother Abdul Rahman with suspected food poisoning but doctors later ruled out food as the cause of their sickness after learning that the children could have been exposed to pesticides used in an adjacent flat.
The little girl died despite the best efforts of doctors at Al Qasimi Hospital in Sharjah. Her brother has remained in a critical condition but has begun showing signs of recovery.
Blood samples taken from Abdul Rahman have since confirmed that he is suffering the effects of chemical poisoning, Sharjah Police sources said.
A window close to the room where the children slept is understood to be close to the apartment where the pesticides were used.
Doctors tested Abdul Rahman after the family refused to allow Habiba’s body to be exhumed for running tests. The child had been buried before an autopsy could be carried out.
Meanwhile, Abdul Rahman, six, is no longer in a critical condition and could be discharged from hospital within a fortnight.
He is being kept under observation as he receives treatment to rule out any long-term damage to his kidneys.
Dr Khalid Khalfan Bin Sabet, specialist paediatric surgeon at Al Qasimi Hospital, told Gulf News: “He is out of danger, we have removed tubes that were helping him breathe and have woken him from a medically-induced coma. He has been given liquids and is responding well.”
The children’s mother, Shimaa Sadek a teacher, told Gulf News how Abdul Rahman had asked for his sister soon after gaining consciousness.
She said: “When he opened his eyes, he didn’t say anything. I took his hands and asked how he was feeling, he asked, ‘where is my sister, is she dead?’ I told him his sister was okay, that she was in the next room but he kept crying and asking for her. I had to leave the room as his blood pressure was rising and I couldn’t stop myself from getting upset.”
She added: “We prayed he would wake up and he has, thank God for that. Habiba was like a dream in my life, a beautiful dream in my life, we are grateful for her and all the help we have received.”
Shaikha Jameela Bint Mohammad Al Qasimi, Vice-President of Sharjah Family Supreme Council, visited Abdul Rahman in hospital yesterday.
Shaikha Jameela is also director general of the Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS) where Abdul Rahman is a pupil.
Shaikha Jameela was joined by pupils from Abdul Rahman’s school who were eager to visit their classmate.
Dr Khalid Khalfan advised parents bringing children to hospital to be forthright when giving information to doctors, especially in cases where poisoning was suspected. He said: “They should have transparency when they pass information to doctors, often parents are afraid when police are there, but it won’t effect doctors but patient themselves if they don’t give correct information. “With the right information, we can treat as quickly as possible, I’m not speaking just about this case, but in general, as in poison cases, it is vital that we get the information so we can act fast.”