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Initiation death toll rises

Twenty six young men have died since the start of the initiation season.

Twenty six young men have died since the start of initiation season. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Department of Health says it will do more to ensure that initiation schools make use of its medical services as the death toll continues to rise.

Twenty six young men have died since the start of the winter initiation season and over 100 young men have sought medical assistance.

Most of these cases have been reported in the Eastern Cape.

Seven people have also been arrested for operating illegal initiation schools in the province.

Department of Health Spokesperson Joe Maila says the department will provide initiation schools with whatever medical assistance they require.

Meanwhile, the ministerial task team set up to prevent deaths during the circumcision season has warned that parents who send their children to illegal initiation schools will be arrested and charged with attempted murder.

The task team was set up by the Health Department in collaboration with the Traditional Affairs Department and the Council of Traditional Leaders.