Eros pupil dies after field trip in Swakpmund

25 Jan 2014 10:20am
WINDHOEK, 24 JAN (NAMPA) – A 12-year-old learner of the Eros Primary School (PS) in the capital died on Friday afternoon in the Mediclinic in Swakopmund after collapsing in the dunes during a field trip there on Tuesday.
Immanuel Indongo suffered dehydration while in the Swakopmund dunes. He was on a leadership training camp with 35 other Eros PS prefects. Two teachers and a trainer were with them in the dunes.
His parents were on Friday afternoon still trying to come to terms with his death.
Indongo’s mother, Karen Mvula-Oloy, told Nampa on Friday from Swakopmund, where she rushed to to be near her son, that she suspects the excursion in the dunes was poorly organised and not supervised properly.
She said Indongo told her before he passed away that they had very little water at their disposal. Two other learners told her the same thing – even that they saw her son struggling on the route.
“My son told me it was very hot, and the little water they had was also hot,” she said.
What makes matters worse is that Indongo collapsed on Tuesday mid-day, but was only taken to the Mediclinic at 04h00 Wednesday morning. At admission, he was still conscious but not talking, she said.
Indongo was later transferred to the ICU of the same hospital, and began to talk a bit.
He was treated for dehydration, and it later transpired that his kidneys were affected by the lack of water.
The parents were informed that that private hospital does not have a dialyses machine, and they then decided to fly him to South Africa (SA) for treatment.
Sadly, Indongo passed away at about 14h30 on Friday.
Mvula-Oloy said her son had no serious illness which she was aware of before, only a minor flu which was under control.
The teachers and other learners arrived back in Windhoek on Thursday.
The distraught mother also informed Nampa that the learners were apparently told not to tell anyone about her son collapsing.
Indongo was dubbed the “Mathematician of Eros PS”, after consistently scoring good marks in that subject. In one Grade 6 math examination he recorded 99 per cent.
Contacted for comment, Eros PS principal Gert Husselman expressed shock at the death of his learner, saying he was only informed of the boy’s death a few minutes before this reporter called him at about 17h00 on Friday.
He said one of the teachers who was on the trip informed him about the boy’s situation on Wednesday, but not of the boy’s passing away. He received this information from other teachers who called him to enquire, and was about the contact the parents
Asked about claims that there was not enough water on the dune trip, Husselmann said he could not confirm or deny that allegation.
Meanwhile, some teachers at the school were upset that they were not informed of the learner’s hospitalisation and subsequent death, saying they would then not have gone on a short team-building session on Friday after school.
To this, Husselman said he needed to discuss the matter with the management of the school first and was planning on informing the teachers about Indongo on Monday.