Measures to prevent further initiation deaths in EC working – MEC

Over a dozen initiates died as a result of dehydration during this summer’s initiation season.

FILE: A picture taken on 20 November 2009 of young boys from the Xhosa tribe attending a traditional initiation school in Libode in the Eastern Cape Province. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Eastern Cape Health MEC Sindiswa Gomba said on Thursday interventions to prevent further initiation deaths were already yielding results.

Over a dozen initiates died as a result of dehydration during this summer’s initiation season. The department previously confirmed 18 reported deaths, but Gomba said this was revised.

“Yesterday [Wednesday] we had an admission in Queenstown and we thought we had lost that initiate, but he is still alive and the figures of the reported deaths still stand at 17,” Gomba said.

The MEC said additional medical staff and water were dispatched to various initiation schools in the province.

“We are taking more doctors and male nurses to assist the initiates and all the necessary things to assist them. In the past 24-hours we haven’t had any deaths,” she said.