Sudden arrival of initiates leaves EC hospital with no beds


The Eastern Cape Department of Health has confirmed that an increase in the number of initiates seeking treatment at the St Barnabas hospital in Libode, had resulted in a shortage of beds and even refusal of some cases.

Speaking to News24, department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said that six “ordinary” medical cases had to be turned away after the admittance of 36 initiates suffering from cases ranging from botched circumcisions to dehydration and pneumonia.

“The provincial health department has had to intervene by moving some of the boys to Dr Malizo Mphehle Hospital to avert a crisis,” Kupelo said, adding that the majority of the circumcisions had been carried out by people unfamiliar to the process.

“Codefsa [Community Development Foundation for SA], an NGO assisting with circumcision rescue operations in the area, has agreed to erect a rescue centre behind the hospital”.

A reported six deaths as a result of failed circumcisions have so far been reported.