Strange disease kills over 50 in Kogi, state assembly cries out

By Martins Ekele

Over 50 persons have lost their lives to a strange illness in Olamaboro Local Government of Kogi State.

It was reliably gathered that the disease which is still unknown comes with symptoms of headache, red eye, loss of appetite, inability to urinate or defecate, convulsion and finally death.

The lawmaker representing Olamaboro Constituency in the Kogi State House of Assembly, Hon. Ujah Anthony Alewo who disclosed this in a motion of urgent public importance presented at the floor of the house on Tuesday said it was sad and quite disturbing that the residents of Etteh Community in Olamaboro Local Government Area of Kogi State were thrown into confusion by the outbreak of an epidemic alien to them.

Although the lawmaker maintained that the cause of the disease is still unknown, he noted that infected patients die within one week of contracting the disease.

According to him, “more worrisome, is that all efforts to reach solutions using the local herbs and treatment at local health centres with referrals to neighbouring 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”.

He prayed that the house to mandate its Committee on Health and Social Services for an on-the-spot assessment of damage to lives and properties to the people of Etteh Community.

The lawmaker asked the House to write a strongly worded resolution mandating the Honourable Commissioner for Health to direct medical experts to the affected area to unravel the cause of the epidemic and treat accordingly.

Alewo in his prayers urged the house to do a passionate appeal to the State Government to send palliatives to the affected areas to cushion 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 need to be urgently saved as it will adversely affect the economic input of the agrarian community to the State.

The Deputy Speaker Hon. Ahmed Mohammed in his submissions hinted that the Community shares boundary with Enugu State and as such there is a need for urgent action to avert further loss of lives.

He suggested an additional prayer that the State Government should construct a Hospital in Etteh Community to avert and tackle future occurrences of such an epidemic.

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

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