Dozens of Nthompe Koma Primary School pupils on Monday night thronged Mahalapye health facilities following a food poisoning incident allegedly caused by rape they ate at school.
Classes came to a halt yesterday as more students showed signs of food poisoning while health workers were present at the school and hospital to establish what could have caused the incident that led to at least 26 pupils being admitted at Mahalapye Hospital. According to a source, it is suspected that the students were fed rape, which was recently sprayed with pesticides.
“The students started vomiting and having diarrhoea at their homes after school. A huge number of them were rushed to the hospital and it was said that the newly treated vegetable was given to them,” the source said.
Mahalapye Hospital Superintendent, Dr Kumal Bose said they are yet to establish the cause of diarrhoea and vomiting, whether it is the food they ate or not. “We attended to a total of 82 students of whom 26 were admitted and others discharged. More students were coming in this morning.
We have sent our public health team to the school to investigate all possible causes,” he said. Mahalapye chief education officer,
“It is true that a lot of students from the school were taken to various health facilities yesterday.
The students were fed sorghum and rape at break time and the sorghum has been taken for tests by the public health team.
All of the rape was cooked yesterday. We will, however, go to the source if there is still any left so that it can be tested,” she said.
Dikeme said more students were taken to the hospital the following day as some developed signs late.
“We do not have a certain number currently, but we have recorded over 100 cases with 11 pupils still admitted at the hospital,” she said.
She said they kept the pupils within the school so they could monitor them rather than sending them home while parents are at work.
Dikeme said there were some pupils who were in school yesterday (Tuesday) who were not affected and that there was no report of any adult person having been diagnosed with the same problem.