Dept concerned with initiation injuries

At least 30 initiates have died and 283 hospitalised in the Eastern Cape due to botched circumcisions.

At least 30 initiates have died and 283 hospitalised in the Eastern Cape due to botched circumcisions. Picture: iWN

CAPE TOWN - The Eastern Cape Health Department at the weekend said it was deeply concerned about the recent spate of deaths as a result of illegal circumcisions.

A total of 30 initiates have died and nearly 300 injured from botched circumcisions.

In the latest incident, 10 initiates were rescued from a forest in Mbizana on Sunday.

A total of 283 initiates are currently hospitalised throughout the Eastern Cape where they're being treated for dehydration, gangrene and septic wounds while others have lost their genitals.

The Department of Health's Spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said the number of boys in need of medical treatment due to botched circumcision puts added pressure on the resources at their health facilities.

"One hospital is treating over 36 boys. Now we've got to prioritise the boys over the entire group."

Kupelo said something urgently needs to be done as more lives continue to be lost during the initiation season in the province.