From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
A patient of Monkeypox in Bayelsa State has committed suicide at the isolation facility located at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH).
The deceased, one of the 21 patients being treated at the NDUTH, was scheduled for evaluation test at the weekend preparatory to his discharge when he committed suicide.
Commissioner for Health, Prof Ebitimula Etebu, who briefed journalists in Yenagoa yesterday about the incident, said the deceased’s medical history did not suggest any mental illness or features of depression.
Etebu disclosed that the police and the family had been informed, noting that all due diligence were being followed for the burial of the deceased.
He expressed regrets that the deceased, who was recovering and had improved significantly, could commit suicide.
Etebu, who urged Bayelsans to remain calm as the monkeypox virus was being tackled by the state government, condoled with the family of the deceased, stating that the disease was not the cause of the man’s death.
He further disclosed that a committee had been put in place to evaluate the deceased’s past and recent clinical and social history to determine “if there were undisclosed mental illnesses or personal family problem that could have justified the suicide.”
Meanwhile, Etebu confirmed that monkeypox was in Bayelsa, following laboratory evidence. He however, assured the public that there was no cause for alarm, as the state government was doing everything to contain the outbreak as well as ensure that all patients received appropriate care and treatment.
The Commissioner for Information, Iworiso-Markson, on his part, advised residents to continue on preventive measures, while reminding them to avoid eating bush meats and other things identified as sources of contracting the disease.