By Ibrahim Oyewale
An outbreak of epidemic disease has claimed over 50 lives in a community in Olamaboro Local Government Area of Kogi State.
It was gathered that those struck by the disease, which has not been properly diagnosed, exhibited symptoms such as headache, red eye, loss of appetite, inability to urinate or defecate and convulsion.
The lawmaker representing Olamaboro Constituency in the Kogi State House of Assembly, Hon. Ujah Alewo, in a motion of urgent public importance presented yesterday at the plenary of the state House of Assembly expressed concern about the delay in combating the disease.
He added that the epidemic has caused panic among residents of Etteh community in the local government area as they did not know the causes of the disease, which kills those infected within one week of contracting it.
He said: “More worrisome, all efforts to seek a solution, using the local herbs and treatment at local health centres with referrals to neighbouring clinics and hospitals at Ogugu and Okpo in Olamaboro respectively were 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 should mandate its Committee on Health and Social Services to carry out an on-the-spot assessment of damage to lives and property to the people of Etteh community.
The lawmaker also urged the House to mandate the commissioner for health to send medical experts to the affected area to unravel the cause of the epidemic and treat those affected.
Alewo urged the legislature to appeal to the state government to send palliatives to the affected areas.
Seconding the motion, the lawmaker representing Dekina, Hon. Biraidu Ododo, called for urgent action to save the affected community.
The Deputy Speaker, Hon. Ahmed Mohammed, in his submission, said since the community shares boundary with Enugu State, there is a need for an urgent action to avert further loss of lives.
He suggested an additional prayer that the state government should construct a hospital in the community to avert and tackle the future epidemic.
Ruling on the motion, the Speaker, Hon. Matthew Kolawole, asked for a minute silence for the lives lost due to the attack of this epidemic, adding that the House should write to the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja for support.