Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
About 50 persons have reportedly lost their lives to a ‘strange disease’ that is spreading fast in Olamaboro Local Government area of Kogi State.
The House of Assembly member representing Olamaboro constituency, Ujah Alewo raised the alarm on the floor of the house on Tuesday in Lokoja, the State capital.
According to him, victims of the strange disease suffered from headache, red eye, loss of appetite, inability to urinate or defecate, convulsion before their death.
The lawmaker, in a motion of urgent public importance presented at the floor of the State House of Assembly, 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.
The lawmaker maintained that the causes of the disease are still unknown, noting that an infected patient died within one week of contracting the disease.
According to him, ‘more worrisome, all efforts to seek out 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 the house to mandate its Committee on Health and Social Services for an on-the-spot assessment of damages to lives and properties to the people of Etteh Community.
‘I pray the House do 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, 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 further that the State Government should construct a Hospital in Etteh Community to avert and tackle the future occurrence of such an epidemic.
Ruling on the motion, the Speaker, Mathew Kolawole, asked for a minutes 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.