/ 17 July 2009

Eastern cape circumcision death toll nears 50

Four more boys have died because of botched circumcisions in the Eastern Cape, bringing the death toll to 49, health officials said on Friday.

”Three of the boys died in Mdantsane in East London and the other in Mount Ayliff last week,” Health Department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said.

”These cases were only reported to us today [Friday],” he said.

Earlier on Friday, when another case was reported to the South African Press Association, Kupelo said he believed the programmes put in place to curb deaths during the circumcision period were working in some areas.

The department would stop at nothing to ensure they effectively dealt with the issue.

Kupelo again appealed for community assistance in identifying illegal initiation schools, where most of the boys’ lives were put at risk. — Sapa