Home NEWS County News 5 die, 28 hospitalized after botched circumcision in Elgeyo Marakwet County

5 die, 28 hospitalized after botched circumcision in Elgeyo Marakwet County

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Five boys have died, while 28 others are fighting for their lives in various hospitals in Elgeyo Marakwet County due to negligence in their management after circumcision.

The county executive for health Michael Kibiwott said health facilities in the county have witnessed an upsurge of admissions of initiates across the county and even from neighbouring counties, with most of them suffering from severe pneumonia since the onset of the circumcision season.

Addressing the press in Iten, Kibiwott said one of the initiates was admitted at the Iten county referral hospital in the Intensive Care Unit, adding that one girl who underwent FGM had also been admitted with excessive bleeding.

The county director of medical services Dr. Isaac Kipyego said the girl had bled to a point of becoming anaemic, adding that it was sad that some of the initiates who were treated and discharged were being taken back to the seclusion camps.

The medic said while the procedure was not life threatening, the conditions the initiates live in the seclusion camps, where they are exposed to cold resulting in pneumonia attacks and the aftercare, following the procedure are what has led to the unnecessary loss of young lives.

He appealed to those taking care of them to ensure they live in hygienic conditions and refer them to hospital immediately they fall ill.

“I am also appealing to those who circumcised the boys, most of them who are medics to make a point of visiting them in the camps to ensure that they are healing properly and that they are not exposed to unhygienic conditions,” he said.

Kibiwott said the county government together with the National Government Administration officers (NGAO) had jointly issued advisory to chiefs and ward administrators to visit the seclusion camps and ensure that initiates were being taken care of.

The county executive said the county, while respecting the right of residents to practice their culture, was in the process of creating a policy to ensure that the rite of passage whether undertaken traditionally, medically or through non-conventional means does not lead to loss of life.

While noting that FGM was illegal, Kibiwott said protection of life was paramount and therefore called on girls experiencing any health challenges as a result of FGM to seek treatment immediately.

“I can assure them that they will be treated with respect, professionalism and utmost confidentiality and so they shouldn’t fear to seek treatment in any of our health facilities,” he said.