NMBM declares city ready for initiation season

2017-11-22 06:01

IT is all system go for Nelson Mandela Bay as the Public Health Directorate has finished the necessary preparations in time for the annual pilgrimage to initiation sites across the Metro.

Port Elizabeth is one of the most successful metros when it comes to keeping the number of incidents during and after the initiation season low.

Unfortunately, an initiate died last year following an alleged drug overdose.

This was, however, an isolated incident and was not linked to the tradition itself.

Over the past few months, ward councillors, Public Health Standing Committee members, traditional surgeons and nurses have been hard at work preparing for the upcoming initiation season to ensure that there are zero incidents.

They have been taken through intensive workshops and these have also been extended to prospective initiates and their parents for information-sharing purposes.

“It is quite important that all the role players are made ready before the start of each season in order to ensure that this sacred Xhosa tradition is not tainted and lives are spared during this time,” read a recent statement by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM).

“Cautionary measures have been taken and this has been done through signing legal forms by all the parties concerned. Medical doctors will be dispatched to key health facilities where communities can easily reach them for urgent medical assistance.

“These forms include a precircumcision medical examination form, a parental consent form, permission to perform circumcision form and permission to run an initiation school.” A final oversight tour of circumcision sites was undertaken on October 26 and 27 and some of the sites were found to have accumulated refuse and are currently being cleaned by the Waste Sub Directorate.

The NMBM will also provide tanked water and, where possible, piped water to ensure that initiates do not travel long distances to get access to water.

“As a caring city, the municipality will continue to provide all the necessary support as soon as the season commences until the last initiate has left the initiation site,” the NMBM concluded.

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