Eastern Cape circumcision situation a crisis – MEC

2013-07-05 16:24

The influx of patients with circumcision-related injuries to Eastern Cape hospitals is a crisis, health MEC Sicelo Gqobana has said.

“Overall in the province there are 263 people who are being treated in hospitals for circumcision-related complications,” provincial health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said today.

The MEC visited the Mthatha General and St Barnabas hospitals today to assess initiates who required immediate medical care.

He found many boys suffering from dehydration, gangrene and septic wounds. Some had lost their genitals.

“He is going to make a strong recommendation to deal with the situation to the provincial cabinet,” Kupelo said.

“He will also consult the chair of the house of traditional leaders and the MEC for local government.”

Kupelo said the doctors and staff at the hospitals told Gqobana they had been “emotionally affected” by the extent of the injuries. “The doctors and even the workers require counselling.”

He said the growing number of initiate patients was putting pressure on the hospitals, as the boys had to be given priority over other patients.

The health department concluded that the initiation season had been “hijacked by people motivated by greed”.

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