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Health intervenes to fix initiation schools

The department says it’s working with relevant departments to curb a rise in deaths.

FILE: The department says it’s working with the relevant departments to try and curb the rise in deaths. Picture: Sapa

CAPE TOWN - The health department says it's working with the relevant departments to try and curb a rise in deaths as a result of botched circumcisions.

At least 35 boys have died in the Eastern Cape alone since the start of the winter initiation season.

A further five young men have lost their lives in Mpumalanga.

Several illegal initiations schools throughout the country have also been closed in recent weeks.

The department's Joe Maila says, "Most of these deaths are happening in these schools that are which aren't registered.

Therefore we'd like to call on members of the public that when they take their kids to initiation schools, they must do so at those schools which are properly registered."

Meanwhile, there have been calls for government to fast-track the Traditional Initiation Bill in order to regulate the circumcision practice and curb further deaths of initiates.

Thirty one young men have died since the start of the winter initiation season due to botched circumcisions, 24 of whom were from the Eastern Cape.

More than 130 boys have been hospitalised.