Eight initiates have died after being circumcised at an initiation school in Kwamhlanga, Mpumalanga, health officials said on Wednesday.
A total of 15 initiates were admitted to the Kwamhlanga hospital since Saturday, said Simphiwe Kunene from the Mpumalanga health department.
Of the 15 admitted, 11 were discharged, one died and three were still in hospital.
The Mpumalanga forensic pathology unit was also called to collect seven bodies of people who had died at the initiation school, bringing the total number of fatalities to eight.
The hospital sent male nurses to affected initiation schools to help initiates in need of care. "We are currently consulting with the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders, and Department of Corporative Governance and Traditional Affairs to draw up a collective intervention strategy aimed at preventing loss of more lives.
"And assisting traditional leaders in the area with all resources that may be required," he said.
Adhere to regulations
The department also encouraged stakeholders to adhere to regulations as proclaimed by the Mpumalanga Ingoma Bill.
The MEC for Health and Social Development in Mpumalanga, Dikeledi Mahlangu, had instructed the department to closely monitor the situation and work with traditional authorities to prevent more loss of lives. – (Sapa, May 2009)