20 March 2019

Botswana: Another Bizarre Sickness Hits Werda Primary School

Werda — A team of six medical doctors has been dispatched to Werda Primary School in the Kgalagadi District to attend to a bizarre sickness that attacked some pupils since February 22.

Regional director of education, Ms Maipelo Kesenye, said in an interview that seven standard one pupils of the same class and one standard two pupil were affected.

She said the pupils were taken to clinics at different times after showing strange physical conditions. They struggled to walk, looked wobbly from the lower part of the body and fainted.

Ms Kesenye said the condition started off with four standard one pupils. "First, it was two boys and two girls in the same class. We do not know of the cause of the sickness yet, but medical investigations are still ongoing," she said.

She said even though pupils displayed similar symptoms to those of Lempu Junior Secondary School in Salajwe, it was still early to compare them.

She said the sickness did not take long because pupils who were taken to the clinic quickly regained consciousness and returned to normal behavior. However, after a pupil has been discharged, the sickness would resurface the following day.

The situation, Ms Kesenye said, had affected the learning process, but added that they would do all they could to normalise things.

The education authorities carried out some assessments by visiting pupils' homesteads as well as assessing conditions of ablutions, kitchen and classrooms at the school.

But, Ms Kesenye said nothing was found, which could be linked to the bizarre disease.

A parent, whose child was affected, Ms Neo Semumu, said she could not understand what was happening to her daughter.

"I was called to the school to witness what was happening to her and my heart was torn apart. At home she is just bubbly, but when she gets to school, the condition starts," she said.

Ms Semumu suggested that there should be general cleaning of the school and churches should be invited to pray.

For his part, Werda's Kgosi Keleofile Phihadu said the sickness shocked him. He visited the affected pupils to appreciate their condition.

Kgosi Phihadu thanked the Ministry of Basic Education for bringing in relevant officers to monitor the situation.

He said he was in the process of calling churches and other stakeholders to come together and pray. BOPA

Source: BOPA

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