A mysterious illness has caused panic at Good Hope School in Inyathi, Matabeleland North, particularly affecting several female students.
The students began experiencing intense itching and unusual behaviour, prompting school authorities to hold an emergency meeting with parents to address the situation.
Despite seeking medical help at a nearby clinic, a definitive diagnosis could not be established.
“We’re facing a real dilemma. The students at Good Hope were incessantly scratching their bodies, complaining of relentless itching,” a source stated. “The girls were particularly affected. When we took them to the clinic, they couldn’t identify any underlying cause. We’re at a loss for what to do.”
Some students were reportedly screaming even before reaching the school premises.
A concerned parent shared her child’s experience, describing bloodshot eyes and sudden symptoms like bleeding from the mouth and uncontrollable crying.
“When my daughter arrived home, she was crying uncontrollably. I initially thought they had a quarrel. Her eyes were bloodshot red, and even her mouth appeared to be bleeding. I resorted to some traditional remedies, which provided temporary relief. However, the same symptoms soon emerged in my son, who ultimately required hospitalisation. Words fail to capture the severity of the situation.”
Ward 23 Councilor Miller Mlilo confirmed the incident, emphasizing the clinic’s inability to identify a medical cause.
Taungana Ndoro, Director of Communications and Advocacy in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, acknowledged the situation and outlined steps being taken to address it.
“The Ministry is aware of the situation and is collaborating with the Ministry of Health and Child Care, who visited the school and examined the learners. Initial findings suggest no underlying medical condition. The school was advised to involve the community through the School Development Committee (SDC) and traditional leadership, which they have done. The Ministry continues to provide psychosocial support to the affected learners,” he said.