The Monitor :: Pupils Fiddle With Used Needles
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Last Updated
Friday 08 December 2017, 17:25 pm.
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Pupils Fiddle With Used Needles

FRANCISTOWN: It was panic and fear for parents of Aerodrome Primary School pupils after some pupils at the school injected others with discarded used needles believed to have been carelessly disposed of by a diabetic on August 24.
By Lebogang Mosikare Mon 04 Sep 2017, 16:52 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Pupils Fiddle With Used Needles








A member of the school’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and some of the parents revealed this ‘harrowing’ incident to The Monitor on condition of anonymity. Parents were then called to the school for a crisis meeting on August 31.

Sources added that parents were told that someone suspected to be from the Aerodrome location, which uses the same name with the school, indiscriminately disposed of his or her used diabetes needles.

The sources said from hearsay, it looks like someone suffering from diabetes who lives near the school must have wanted to discard the used needles by tossing them inside a large dustbin within the school compound while he/she was standing outside the school fence.

“Unfortunately, it appears the  needles missed their intended target and fell on the ground The PTA source further said pupils doing between Standard One and Standard three saw the discarded injections and then started playing with them,” said a source who added that from the look of things, said the needles were kept in a large plastic.

Unaware that they were playing with fire, the pupils then started piercing each other with the injections until some of the pupils started crying which alerted teachers.

Some of the children, the sources added, were then taken to a clinic where they were tested for sexually transmitted infections, but they were fortunately found to free the diseases.

As a precautionary measure, the pupils were given Emtricitabine and Tenofovir, which are antiviral medicines that prevent HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) cells from multiplying in the body, the sources said.

Said one source: “The pupils will be tested for HIV every three months for up to a year-and-half to ascertain whether they were not infected with HIV or not since HIV is sometimes difficult to detect in its early stages.”

On August 31 when the school management and teachers

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were still brainstorming how to address the problem, one pupil surprised the meeting when he came  in with used needle to his teachers.

The pupil, the sources added, told the teachers that he took the needle from the school bag of one his mates who was amongst pupils who were playing with the discarded needles.

At the end of the meeting, it was resolved that parents and Ipelegeng workers should come to the school on Friday to look for more used injections if any within the school premises.

A parent who was amongst people who combed the school premises looking for the injections told this publication that their search yielded nothing.

When contacted for comment, the chairperson of Aerodrome Primary School PTA said he was not the right person to talk to the media about the matter.

Instead, he referred The Monitor to Fredah Majaha, the school’s headmistress.

Majaha said although she was aware of the matter, she was constrained by protocol to talk to the media about the issue.

“I have written a letter to my superiors at our education district to brief them about the issue you are talking about.

“My superiors are better placed to talk to you about the issue.”

The chief education officer of North East District Vumani Lackson said although he saw a letter talking about the matter, he had not thoroughly read it.

He said that after this reporter approached him about the issue at the Francistown City Council ordinary council meeting on Friday morning.

When called in the afternoon to follow up on the matter, Lackson said he was at a funeral and will be available to disclose the contents of the matter on Monday.

The councillor for Botsalano ward, Zibanani Benefield under which Aerodrome falls also confirmed hearing about the matter when asked on Friday at the full council session.

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