Food poisoning scare  

23 September 2008
Sibongile Mashaba

Priests called to pray for sick kids

 

Source of Article: http://www.sowetan.co.za/News/Article.aspx?id=848955

Priests have been called in to pray for about 100 kids who got sick at the Bottom Primary School and the education department is looking into stopping the delivery of food to the institution.

The Gauteng education department has also asked their health counterparts for assistance after 11 more pupils and two parents suffered stomachaches, headaches, dizziness and vomiting at the school yesterday.

On Friday, 70 pupils were treated for food poisoning at the Chris Hani-Baragwanth and Leratong hospitals after complaining of stomachaches, headaches and dizziness.

Spokesman Panyaza Lesufi said: The situation is scary. You cannot have children collapsing at the school without knowing what is going on. We are taking the matter very seriously and have asked the department of health to assist.

They will also be checking water and other kinds of foods that can be found near the school.

Education MEC Angie Motshekga said: I have requested the district office to evaluate the situation and if needs be immediately suspend any provision of food inside or outside the school without the necessary medical certificate to declare the food safe.

The department said it suspected more than food poisoning.

Johannesburg Emergency Services spokesman Percy Morokane said the children suffered the symptoms of food poisoning stomachache, headache and dizziness .

He also confirmed that more pupils were treated for the same symptoms yesterday.

Only three children and a parent were taken to hospital for treatment. The others were feeling better, he said.

Health spokesman Zanele Mngadi said: Our team has been to the school but we do not have a report as yet.

Pupils who spoke to Sowetan said they ate soft porridge on Friday.

Siphamandla Sibisi, 14, a grade six pupil, said he ate the porridge and suddenly fell sick. He fainted and was taken to hospital.

Mpho Smile, 14, a Grade 7 pupil, said: I only drank water and started feeling dizzy. I also suffered a terrible headache and vomited. I woke up later and found myself in hospital. Priests were called in today and they prayed for us. Hopefully this whole thing will stop.

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