Agaju Madugba, Katsina
Panic has gripped students at the Federal University, Dutsinma (FUDMA), Katsina State, following the death of two students in an hostel.
A 100 level student of Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Kayode Aliu Gabriel, died on February 23, followed three days later by the death of Abubakar Safiyanu, a 200 level student from the same department.
University authorities attributed the death of one of the students to a “stomach ache”, while the other was due to, in their words, “failure to patronize the school clinic,” according to the FUDMA Public Relations Officer, Ishaku Yusuf Karofi.
But some students say the demise of their colleagues may not be unconnected with a possible outbreak of cerebrospinal meningitis, popularly referred to as CSM, usually rampant during the hot season, said to be due to inadequate ventilation.
“We are 15 students in my room,” one student lamented on Wednesday, noting further that, “the room was actually designed to accommodate not more than four students, but the university collects N10,000 from 15 students and stuff us in a room.”
Reacting to the deaths in a press statement, Karofi said that, “the acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Armaya’u Hamisu Bichi, met with the students this morning (Wednesday) and condoled them and asked them to patronize the university clinic and use the borehole water for drinking.
“He directed the Medical Director to station nurses in the hostels, for first aid services while the Director of Works was directed to provide the hostels with light, from 7pm to 6am.”