Ricochet News

Departments investigating how learners suddenly fell ill at King Williams Town school

By Afikile Lugunya - Aug 1, 2018
Departments investigating how learners suddenly fell ill at King Williams Town school

The Eastern Cape Department of Education, together with the Department of Health, has confirmed that a number of learners from St Mathews Senior Secondary School in King Williams Town were admitted at a local hospital after complaining of stomach aches.

The learners were admitted at SS Gida Hospital in Keiskammahoek on Tuesday night.

"The Department of Health and the Department of Education have sent official to the school to investigate the cause of this outbreak, while also awaiting tests run by the hospital on these learners, Malibongwe Mtima, said in a statement.

He added that 33 of these learners were discharged at around 12 midnight, and were taken back to their hostel by district and school officials.

"Since all these learners alleged that this happened after consuming some water, the Departments have stopped usage and consumption of it until the investigation is finalised," Mtima said.

"Alternative means have been made for them to ensure they get properly filtered portable water. Officials from both departments are working around the clock to remedy the situation.

"All other learners are being jointly monitored by specialists from both departments to avoid any further outbreak.”

Eastern Cape Education MEC, Mandla Makupula, thanked the joint team for their quick response in dealing with the situation.

"I wish to thank all state employees for the swift response in managing the situation. I urge the school community to please co-operate with the deployed officials so that they can discharge their responsibilities accordingly,” said Makupula.

Eastern Cape Health MEC, Ms Helen Sauls-August, also welcomed the joint team’s spirit.

“We congratulate all the government employees who worked tirelessly to ensure that the learners get immediate medical attention. The collaborative efforts by state apparatus on this case is commendable,” Sauls-August said.