180 matrics rushed to hos­pi­tal in pain


More than 180 Grade 12 pupils were rushed to hos­pi­tal in Li­bode with sus­pected food poi­son­ing on Thurs­day.

The Tu­tor Ndamase Se­nior Se­condary School pupils’ symp­toms in­cluded vom­it­ing, di­ar­rhoea, stom­ach cramps and headaches.

At the time of writ­ing, it was still un­clear whether any pupils would be ad­mit­ted as they were still be­ing ex­am­ined by doc­tors at St Barn­abas Hos­pi­tal in Nt­laza, said health spokesper­son Lwandile Sicwet­sha.

The school, in Nyan­deni vil­lage in Li­bode, does not have a hos­tel but prin­ci­pal Mphakamiswa Mjali said the ma­tric­u­lants had spent the past two weeks sleep­ing over at the school as they were at­tend­ing a re­view camp to pre­pare for the up­com­ing fi­nal ex­ams.

He said most of the pupils were girls. “They had tinned fish and rice for sup­per and the food was pre­pared a lit­tle ear­lier while the pupils were still in class, and so we sus­pect that may have been the cause but we can­not be sure.

“In the morn­ing they all started com­plain­ing about the same thing and were rushed to hos­pi­tal by am­bu­lance.”

When the Daily Dis­patch ar­rived, doc­tors and nurses had their hands full try­ing to at­tend to all the pupils while con­cerned par­ents trick­led in look­ing for an­swers.

Some pupils were put on drips while oth­ers were al­ready show­ing signs of re­cov­ery as they in­ter­acted with one an- other and their par­ents.

This is the fourth sus­pected food poi­son­ing in­ci­dent at a gov­ern­ment school this year.

Ear­lier this year, Ndamase Se­nior Se­condary School in Ngqe­leni had two in­ci­dents of food poi­son­ing and at Mthatha Tech­ni­cal High School pupils were taken to Mthatha re­gional hos­pi­tal with stom­ach cramps.

Par­ents told the Dis­patch they wanted an in­ves­ti­ga­tion to as­cer­tain what had caused their chil­dren to fall sick.

Ed­u­ca­tion spokesper­son Malibongwe Mtima con­firmed the in­ci­dent and said a mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary team had been sent to the school to un­cover what had gone wrong and to find ways to rem­edy the sit­u­a­tion and fur­ther pre­vent any fu­ture cases.

“We are mon­i­tor­ing the pa­tients.

“This is the first time this has oc­curred at this school.

“We ap­peal for calm as we want to avoid un­in­tended con­se­quences,” said Mtima.

The 4th sus­pected food poi­son­ing in­ci­dent at a state school this year

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