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5 dead, 28 in hospital after botched circumcision

Some of those admitted to hospital are in ICU with doctors working round the clock to save their lives

File image of a crime scene

At least five boys have been confirmed dead with 28 others admitted to hospital in Elgeyo Marakwet due to complications arising from circumcision procedures.

The County’s health CEC Michael Kibiwot confirmed the development, adding that some of the 28 admitted to hospital are in Intensive Care Unit with doctors working round the clock to save their lives.

Those in hospital are reported to be exhibiting symptoms ranging from bacterial infection to pneumonia and Septicemia.

"We have admitted 28 initiates who recently underwent the right of passage, and circumcision and have come into our hospitals with severe Pneumonia, Septicemia among others.

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"It is sad that so far we have lost five and as we speak we have one patient in the ICU." He told the press in a briefing at Iten town.

He added that the boys had gone through initiation and were in healing camps when health complications arose, claiming the lives of 5 and leaving 28 in hospitals.

Kibiwott linked the cases to the environment in which the circumcision took place, and reached out to parents to take their children to hospital where the procedure can be done in a safe environment with qualified professionals.

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Surge in admission as agencies swing into action

He added that concerned agencies have issued an advisory to local administrators to visit initiation camps and ensure compliance with existing policies and laws.

A surge in admission has been recorded by hospitals in the county with initiates from neighbouring counties trickling in for medical attention.

Among the frequent complaints noted is severe cases of pneumonia.

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Director of Health Services Dr. Issac Kipyegon faulted residents for ignoring health measures leading to the situation.

The long December school holiday is typically a busy month with parents taking advantage of closed schools to take their children for initiation.

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