THE number of Luvale circumcision initiates known as Tundanji, from one of the Mukanda camps, quarantined over suspected Typhoid has risen to 55 from 38 in the tourist capital.
Meanwhile, an education source has revealed that several initiates who are in exam classes in Livingstone’s eastern zone are writing their grade 7 and 9 examinations at the quarantine centre in Ngwenya.
The source said the Typhiod suspects are writing their examinations under the supervision of selected teachers clad in medical sterilised attire so as to minimise risks of contamination.
In an interview, Mapuwo said he was briefed by the district health director Dr Tino Malisebo that laboratory results were being awaited from Lusaka to confirm if indeed it was Typhoid.
“Dr Tino Malisebo did inform me that currently we only have symptoms similar to that of Typhoid as the laboratory tests are still being awaited. He also informed me that the number of the quarantined Tundanji at the Ngwenya Health Centre has risen from 38 to 55,” he said. “We are helping mitigate the issue by providing water to the health centre using our water bowser.”
Mapuwo said apart from the increase in quarantined Tundanji, the situation was under control.
He said the two deaths that have been recorded did not involve any member of the initiates from the Mukanda that have been quarantined.
“The director is awaiting lab test results obtained from the first death to ascertain if it was truly Typhoid. But he said that the cause of death was symptoms similar to that of Typhoid,” Mapuwo said. “He informed me that the second death was of a child who may have been a former kandanji and had access to the mukanda. I am told that the boy was taken ill from home and a post-mortem is yet to be conducted. But the bottom line is, there has been no death from the quarantined tundanji.”
And a source has revealed that high levels of poverty in many residential areas such as Malota, Ngwenya, Kashitu, Mwandi and Linda has led to a lot of children forcing themselves to be enrolled into the Mukanda.
“We usually have many camps spread out in Livingstone. But we have noted that many non-Luvale children turn themselves in because their friends boast of feeding very well while in camp. It is a challenge we have to deal with but currently the numbers are too high for us to comprehend,” the source revealed.