Over 13 learners of Nkhotakota LEA Primary School were on Monday rushed to Nkhotakota District Hospital after they suffered from a strange disease.

According to one of the staff members at the school who spoke to Malawi News Agency (Mana), on condition of anonymity, the learners, community members and the staff are scared by the strange disease and so far classes have been suspended until further communication.

The source said the school started witnessing the situation last week when three girls collapsed consecutively in what was believed to be hallucination and were sent to the hospital.

Monica Binali Banda, a mother of standard eight girl pupil at the school, said on Monday morning from 07:30 am to 09:00am she witnessed over nine children suffering from a similar disease and she ferried them to the hospital for medical attention.

“My girl child has been complaining of the case since last week that her classmates are collapsing one after another more especially girls.

“Surprisingly, as I am speaking nothing was done by authorities at the school to stabilize the situation.

It is disheartening to me as a parent because learners are engulfed by fears thereby being disturbed in preparations for the forthcoming Primary School Leaving Certificate Examinations,” Banda said.

Nkhotakota LEA Primary School Head teacher, Bright Kambewa refused to speak to this reporter saying he is not mandated to release information to the media.

“Sorry, I am a headteacher of the school, therefore it is not my responsibility to release any school information to the media practitioners like you unless authorized or ordered to do so,” Kambewa said.

Nkhotakota District Hospital spokesperson, Samson Mfuyeni confirmed the incident but said the girls were later discharged upon observations.

“We are aware and recorded the incident that the girls were collapsing and when thoroughly examined, they were discharged after observations,” Mfuyeni confirmed.

The reporter went to the school on Monday morning to have a distinct picture of the situation, and he established that there was chaos whereby some learners were running to their respective homes and screaming for help.

The school teachers and community members around the school were busy giving First Aid to the collapsing students and sourcing transport for them to be sent to the hospital to get medical treatment.

District Education Manager [DEM] for Nkhotakota, Greystone Alindiamawo who was reportedly out of the district for other official duties said he had no knowledge of the issue and that he could not comment.

Inside sources said the school management was intending to schedule abrupt meeting with community leaders and relevant authorities to map the way forward as it had not yet been established as to what was making the pupils collapse