Child Care and Orientation Centre in Soweto where nine pupils contracted listeriosis. Owner says this has tarnished the image of her centre. Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - Last week, Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi announced the end of the listeriosis outbreak that killed more than 200 people in South Africa.
However, the nine children from Child Care and Orientation Centre in Klipspruit West, Soweto, who were affected by the outbreak, have not fully recovered from the disease, and two of them have had to leave school because they are still sick.

The owner of the centre, Momi Oliphant, said the children had eaten Enterprise Foods brand’s polony when they started getting sick. She said this has affected the image of her centre and two children have since dropped out because they are constantly ill.

Oliphant she will not serve the children polony again.

“No, no, not again will I give these children polony. I still can’t forget seeing those kids helplessly sick. Two children have since dropped out because of my recommendation to their parents as their health was not improving,” said Oliphant.

Elizabeth Booth, the mother of a 5-year-old boy who became infected, confirmed that her son has been absent from the crèche for several days. “As you can see today, my son is here with me, he did not go to crèche. Since he contracted that disease, his health is not good at all. He gets these headaches now and then,” said Booth.

“As a single, unemployed mother, I don’t have money to keep on going to the hospital, it is far and also the medication is expensive.”

Shereen Louw, whose 4-year-old son has been ill for more than three days, said her son’s health has deteriorated since he became infected with the virus.

“My son did not go to crèche last week. He always gets these headaches that come and go. And the health department is not helping us with money for check-ups or to take our kids to a specialist for a proper medical check-up,” said Louw.

Sunday Independent