Eastern Cape to set up field hospitals for initiates

JULY 8, 2015

As initiation deaths increase, the Eastern Cape health department is now planning to set up field hospitals for initiates to help relieve pressure on hospitals in the province.

This will entail setting up a tent with essential equipment and stretchers, providing IV fluids, antibiotics and wound care, spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said in a statement on Monday.

"These initiates will be supported and provided emergency care until they are stabilised, when they will either be sent back to the school or referred for admission at our hospitals," Kupelo said.

"An implementation plan will be announced soon."

The death toll for the winter initiation season in the province has risen to 18 since the weekend, he said.

The last four deaths occurred in Mdantsane, Mthatha and in the Chris Hani district.

St Barnabas Hospital in Libode is facing a crisis because of the influx of initiates, Kupelo said. A total of 36 initiates have been admitted to the hospital and it has run out of beds.