Five boys die after botched circumcision in Elgeyo Marakwet

Officials reported that the hospitalized boys exhibited symptoms ranging from bacterial infections to signs of pneumonia.

Crime Scene.

At least five boys have lost their lives, and 28 others are currently hospitalized in various facilities in Elgeyo Marakwet following complications from a circumcision procedure.

Officials reported that the hospitalized boys exhibited symptoms ranging from bacterial infections to signs of pneumonia.

Michael Kibiwot, the county's Health CEC, mentioned that one of the admitted boys has been transferred to the Intensive Care Unit.

Health facilities in the county have experienced a surge in admissions from initiates, including those from neighboring counties, primarily presenting severe pneumonia cases during the ongoing circumcision season.

The affected group, having undergone the rite of passage, was undergoing a healing process when they fell ill, suspected to be due to a bacterial infection.

"We have admitted 28 initiates who recently underwent the right of passage, and circumcision and have come into our hospitals with severe Pneumonia, Septicemia among others," he said.

"It is sad that so far we have lost five and as we speak we have one patient in the ICU."

Addressing the press in Iten, Kibiwott said one of the initiates was admitted at the Iten County referral hospital in the Intensive Care Unit, adding that one girl who underwent FGM had also been admitted with excessive bleeding.

He condemned the exercise attributing the horror to the environment where the circumcisions took place. He urged parents to instead take their boys to hospitals for the exercise.

He said they had jointly with other agencies issued an advisory to chiefs and ward administrators to visit the seclusion camps and ensure that initiates were being taken care of.

Director of Health Services Dr. Issac Kipyegon blamed the residents for ignoring health measures while undertaking the initiation exercise.

“The procedure itself is supposed to be a safe procedure but because of the conditions surrounding it and the care, it has exposed the initiates to these conditions,” Kipyegon said.

Kipyego said the girl had bled to the point of becoming anaemic, adding that it was sad that some of the initiates who were treated and discharged were being taken back to the seclusion camps.

The medic said while the procedure was not life-threatening, the conditions the initiates live in the seclusion camps, where they are exposed to cold resulting in pneumonia attacks and the aftercare, following the procedure are what has led to the unnecessary loss of young lives.

He appealed to those taking care of them to ensure they live in hygienic conditions and refer them to hospital immediately after they fall ill.

"Our appeal and desire as health workers is that once we can identify these cases we will have prompt referrals to facilities and they will get the necessary care."Many parents are rushing their boys for traditional right of passage which is regarded as unhealthy because of the environment they operate.

There have been fatal cases reported out of the procedures in other parts of the country.