Three years after Doctors Without Borders discovered a huge lead-poisoning crisis in a Nigerian village, a six-month long clean-up remediation has paved the way for doctors to begin treating contaminated children.

Around 1,000 children will need to be treated for neurological damage caused by the lead-poisoning, AP reports. Some of the afflictions include blindness, paralysis, and learning disabilities for many of these children, according to Dr. Michelle Chouinard of Doctors Without Borders.

The lead-poisoning epidemic was first discovered in 2010. A gold rush at the time led to artisanal, small-scale mining in villages. The worst situation was in a village called Bagega — with more than 400 children killed due to lead contamination — but the Nigerian government did not provide money for clean-up until this year.

However, mining provides a source of money for poverty-stricken villages, where unreliable rainfall can be a setback for farming. Villagers reportedly said they would rather die from lead-poisoning than poverty.

Because the villagers didn't want the government to stop the illegal mining, they originally attempted to hide the first deaths. Mining allowed people to earn more money in a week than they did in an entire year of farming.

Some took rocks into their homes to process, which brought large amounts of a particular type of lead that is absorbed very easily into the body into close contact.

Dr. Paul Eze, who treats lead-poisoning in a small Nigerian city called Anka, described the effects of the contamination to Voice of America.

"Lethargy, unconsciousness," Eze said. "They could also have other neurological impairments, like developmental delay, reduced intelligence. In the long run, some of them eventually develop cerebral palsy and loss of the use of the limbs."

In the U.S., 400 parts per million of lead are considered safe for soil. In Bagega, which is located in the northern province of Zamfara, some soil measured to have 35,000 parts per million, and others up to 100,000.

Plenty of children tested will need to undergo chelation therapy. Chelation is a treatment that removes heavy metals from the body like lead, arsenic or mercury.