Kogi: Strange disease kills over 50 persons in Etteh

Kogi: Strange disease kills over 50 persons in Etteh

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 8:23 am

Dr. Saha Haruna-Audu, Kogi Health Commissioner

Richard Elesho/ Lokoja

Etteh, a quiet agrarian community in Olamaboro Local Government Area, LGA of Kogi State is under the threat of extinction. In the last month or so, people within the productive years of 25-40 have been plagued by a strange illness and dieing in rapid succession. The situation has left the community in sorrows and deep mourning.

The alien illness comes with fever, general weakness, reddish eye, loss of appetite, headache and inability to urinate or defecate before death. Usually, an infected person dies within one week of the illness. The confused people have unsuccessfully done all they could within their local culture and science to control the carnage. But sadly, more than fifty (50) persons have so far been lost to the illness.

These disclosures were made Tuesday, on the floor of Kogi State House of Assembly by Ujah Anthony Ulewo, the member representing the troubled area. He brought a motion of urgent public importance calling for the intervention of his colleagues.

A humbled Ujah said: “More worrisome, all efforts to reach out for solution, using the local herbs and treatment at local health centres with referrals to neighboring clinics and hospitals at Ogugu and Okpo in Olamaboro respectively was not successful.

“The reports reaching my constituency office from the community leaders confirmed that over 50 people within the economic and productive age of 25 to 40 years died from September to date, thereby stalling agricultural, social and economic activities which directly affect the food security of the agrarian and artisan Etteh people.”

The legislator urged the House to mandate its Committee on Health and Social Services for an on-the-spot assessment of damage to lives and property to the people of the affected Community.

The lawmaker also prayed the House to write “a strongly worded resolution, mandating the Commissioner for Health to direct medical experts to the affected area to unravel the cause of the epidemic and treat accordingly.”

Ujah also urged the House to do a passionate appeal to the State Government to send palliatives to the affected community, to cushion the effect of the huge loss incurred by Etteh Community.

Seconding the motion, the lawmaker representing Dekina Biraidu Moses Ododo, stressed that the lives of people in the community needed to be urgently saved to avert adverse effect on the economic input of the agrarian community to the State.

He suggested to the state government to construct a Hospital in Etteh Community to avert and tackle future occurrence of such epidemic.

Ruling on the motion, the Speaker, Prince Mathew Kolawole, asked for a minute silence for the lives lost due to the attack of the epidemic, adding that the House would write to the closed down Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja for support.

The News reports that when news of the strange illness and loss of lives first broke about two weeks ago, it was denied by government. The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Haryana Audu told newsmen he sent a team to Etteh who confirmed the report was fake and untrue.

He claimed that his team of medical personnel just came back from Etteh. According to him their was a strange illness in a border town of Enugu state with kogi state but the strange illness was not in Ette. Enugu has confirmed the outbreak of Yellow fever and making efforts to control its devastation.

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