Circumcision death toll rises

2008-12-22 19:01

Cape Town - The circumcision death toll in the Eastern Cape has risen to seven with the deaths of another three boys in the past week, the provincial health department said on Monday.

Spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said the deaths all occurred in the Maluti area of northern Transkei.

He said one of the youths had already been buried, near the initiation school he was attending. The department would apply for permission to exhume the body to ascertain the cause of death.

Kupelo also said the department was having particular problems with parents in Western Pondoland who were refusing to allow their sons to be taken from initiation schools to hospitals when they needed medical attention.

"We must work together and save lives, not to have them killed unnecessarily," he said.

"If you deny your child health care, you're actually killing the boy."

He said the department was sending extra officials to the region to deal with the problem.