The Chris Hani District Initiation Forum has already began rolling out its summer initiation plan in preparation for the upcoming summer initiation season. All traditional surgeons and traditional nurses were equipped on safe initiation practices in workshops that took place from 6 November and will be finalised on 16 November. These workshops were conducted by officials from the Department of Health who also form part of the Initiation Forum.
Over the years there have been incidents such as death, assault, dehydration, amputations and under-age initiations which have happened at different areas of the district. In combating these incidents the Initiation Forum joined forces with the House of Traditional Leaders and held awareness campaigns in “hotspot areas”. The hotspot areas are Phumla Mqeshi in Cacadu, Gqaga in Engcobo, Mnkcunkcuzo and St Marks in Cofimvaba as well as Thornhill in Ntabethemba.
The initiation season will officially begin on 22 November and CHDM teams will be spread across the district to ensure proper monitoring. According to CHDM Speaker the Chairperson of the Initiation Forum ‘CHDM is going to work extremely hard to ensure zero deaths. Even though we have been preaching safe initiation over the years, we will not be deterred until we are confident that all communities embrace safe initiation practices’.
In the summer initiation season of 2017 CHDM experienced 1 death and the following winter season of 2018 2 lives were unfortunately lost. The summer season comes with its inherent challenge of a high temperatures which causes dehydration when initiates are denied access to water. Dehydration has been one of the most nagging challenges in CHDM has caused deaths and hospitalisations. A lot of emphasis has been put traditional nurses to ensure that initiates drink as much water as needed by their bodies.
Further details can be obtained from Lonwabo Kowa on firstname.lastname@example.org / 082 3370 146