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CIMMYT being ready saves two Mexican girls: local community in northern Mexico benefits from work of the Security and Hygiene Committee

You鈥檝e heard of collateral damage, but this story is about collateral benefits, according to Iv谩n Ortiz-Monasterio, CIMMYT wheat agronomist posted to Ciudad Obreg贸n, Sonora, northern Mexico. 鈥淎t 1 a.m. on February 19th, Rodrigo Rasc贸n, superintendent of CIMMYT station operations, left his home to pick up a dose of Toxogonin from the station,鈥 says Ortiz-Monasterio. 鈥淗e delivered this to the General Hospital of Ciudad Obreg贸n, and it helped save two lives.鈥

According to reports, three young girls in Ch铆nipas鈥攁 small town in the canyons of the Western Sierra Madre of Chihuahua State and best accessed by air in emergencies鈥攈ad accidentally consumed toxic agrochemicals. One died, and the other two were rushed to the toxicology unit of the Ciudad Obreg贸n hospital. The nearest source they knew of for the antidote was eight hours away, so hospital officials contacted a local provider, who informed them that, given its work and the safety provisions promoted by its Security and Hygiene Committee, CIMMYT-Obreg贸n was likely to have the needed medicine. The chain of urgent communications next led to Jorge Artee, representative of the Agricultural Research and Experimentation Board of the State of Sonora (鈥淧atronato,鈥 for short), a Mexican farmer association that has benefited from CIMMYT research and provided funding and other long-term support to the Center. Artee quickly got in touch with Ortiz-Monasterio, who called Rasc贸n.

Because they take place behind the scenes, the efforts of units like CIMMYT鈥檚 Security and Hygiene Committee usually go unheralded, but an emergency like that described here helps remind us of the value of their work. Congrats to Committee members: Isidro Jim茅nez Olvera, Jorge Montoya Moroyoqui, Carlos Gonz谩lez Le贸n, Manuel de Jes煤s Ruiz Cano, Rodrigo Rasc贸n Gamez.