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By Chulumanco Mahamba

Digital Night Supervisor

Tragedy strikes as Limpopo schoolgirl dies in alleged food poisoning outbreak

A 15-year-old girl has died at a Limpopo school where there has been an alleged food poisoning outbreak; investigations underway.

In another incident of alleged food poisoning among pupils, a Limpopo Grade 9 pupil tragically died after being served food at school.

The Limpopo Department of Education confirmed the passing of a 15-year-old Garde 9 pupil from Raleledu Senior Secondary School in Uitzicht, Limpopo, on Tuesday.

According to the department, on 23 February 2024, pupils from the school started complaining about stomach cramps, and some started vomiting after they had been fed their food.

“Learners were rushed to the nearby health centre, and later, 52 learners were transferred to George Masebe Hospital; 51 learners were treated and discharged,” the department said.

Pupil was critical

One pupil, the 15-year-old girl, unfortunately was critical and later died.

MEC for Education in Limpopo, Mavhungu Lerule-Ramakhanya, expressed her sadness over the passing.

ALSO READ: Tsakane children recovering from suspected food poisoning, which claimed a girl’s life on Tuesday

“This is very heartbreaking; we send our deepest condolences and prayers to the bereaved family. This can never be something to just brush off. Investigations will be conducted to find the root cause of what happened to our learners,” Lerule-Ramakhanya said.

“The alleged food poisoning is something not to be taken lightly when there is so much awareness in the country about unsafe food. When a young person’s life is lost, the future slowly becomes bleak. We need to protect our youth.”

The department added that its psychosocial support will be offered to the school community in light of this accident.

Recent incidents

This latest fatal alleged food poisoning incident comes a few weeks after a Grade 1 girl from Mandlethu Primary School in Tsakane, Gauteng, died after consuming biscuits from a local spaza.

In the same incident, four other children became sick but received medical assistance and recovered.

According to the Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH), since the first food poisoning incident reported in October 2023, it has recorded cumulatively 861 foodborne incidences, which have resulted in 11 deaths.

ALSO READ: Eastern Cape health dept on high alert after 324 pupils rushed to healthcare facilities

“The department continues to urge people to immediately visit their nearest health facilities for treatment when they present with symptoms such as vomiting, sudden chest pains, body ache or weakness, fever, or foam in the mouth,” the department said.

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