100 school learners hospitalized and monitored after drinking contaminated water

Around 100 pupils from St Matthews High school in Keiskammahoek, Eastern Cape have been admitted to SS Gida Hospital on Tuesday evening. The learners had been complaining of stomach aches after drinking contaminated water.

It’s alleged about 63 of the learners were discharged on Wednesday and taken back to the school hostel by the school’s and district’s officials. The rest remain in hospital.

According to Mali Mtima, the department of education’s Eastern Cape spokesperson, everything was still under investigation but they were closely looking into the matter.

“The school has been closed by the department until next Monday. While this has happened we are testing where they prepare their food, we are testing were their water comes from and checking whether the water within the school is contaminated or not,” Mali told DRUM.

The health department’s spokesperson, Lwandile Sicwetsha, told DRUM they’ve met with the officials to find out what kind of menu the school serves and what could’ve cause the outbreak.

“People must make sure that the water they drink is safe. Boil the water so that if there are bacteria then it may be destroyed after you’ve boiled the water. However, we’re working with the education department and municipality because this seems to be triggered by the water supply.”

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