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Death toll from strange disease in Kogi hits 50, as state assembly cries for help

Yahaya Bello

Following the death of no fewer than 50 persons, caused by a strange disease in Olamaboro Local Government Area in Kogi State, the State’s House of Assembly has called on all State and Federal Ministries of Health to unravel the cause of the unknown illness.

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

Two casualties had earlier been recorded with other people landing in the hospital.

This call was made by the lawmaker representing Olamaboro Constituency in the Kogi State House of Assembly, Hon. Anthony Alewo Ujah, in a motion of urgent public importance presented on the floor of the house during plenary sitting in Lokoja, the state’s capital on Tuesday.

According to Ujah, it was quite sad and disturbing that the residents of Etteh Community in Olamaboro Local Government Area of the State were thrown into confusion by the outbreak of an epidemic alien to them.

Ujah also disclosed that although the cause of the strange illness is still unknown, infected patients die within one week of contracting the disease.

“More worrisome, is that all efforts to reach solutions using the local herbs and treatment at local health centers 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.

Read also: Strange disease kills two, others hospitalized in Kogi

“Thereby stalling agricultural, social and economic activities which directly affect the food security of the agrarian and artisan Etteh people,” he said.

He prayed the house to mandate its Committee on Health and Social Services for an on-the-spot assessment of damage to lives and properties, urging that the house send a passionate appeal to the State Government to send palliatives to the affected areas to cushion the huge loss incurred by the people of Etteh Community.

He also 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.

Seconding the motion, the lawmaker representing Dekina Biraidu, Edoko Moses Ododo, stressed that the lives of people in the community needs 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.

By Emmanuella Ibe….

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