BENUE, Nigeria – The Honourable member representing Itabono ward 1 in Ogbadibo Local Govt Area of Benue State, Hon. Patrick Ejeh, also known as Pataba has raised the alarm over an epidemic which broke out at Ankpa Owukpa, killing at least 9 people and leaving so many hospitalized.
Ejeh in a motion raised on Tuesday in Otukpa, the Ogbadibo Headquarters and made available, drew the attention of both the government and community leaders to the strange illness in order to avoid further escalation.
Ejeh charged stakeholders to as a matter of urgency commence further actions on how to save the lives of residents as the ailment is fast spread across the entire Owukpa district.
A source and member of the Owukpa Forum who pleaded anonymity decried lack of doctors at the affected community, adding that doctors were sent to Otukpa instead of Ankpa when the alarm was raised in the Local Government headquarters earlier.
Another member of the Advocacy added that one of the boys referred to the FMC Makurdi from Okpoga died on Monday while another was buried yesterday at Ankpa.
Recall that in the entire Owukpa district, no single functional hospital is standing, no government hospital and no standard health centres are found around.
Avoidable deaths are common in Owukpa as people often die of minor illnesses, unless they are taken to far away Okpoga or Otukpa for treatment.
A youth leader, Augustine Okpe, also known as Buzee had earlier explained the health situation in Owukpa thus, “Ordinary headache kills people in Owukpa. We are living a dog’s life. Death means nothing to us at the moment. If there is an emergency, and we are to rush the person to far-away Okpoga, which road are we going to use? Where are the vehicles? We will usually tie the person to the rider of a motorcycle. The journey will take hours. At that critical time, it’s all about the person’s luck. Many people don’t make it to the hospital. There are no health centres for primary care. Many people had died in my hands following an emergency. Are we part of the Nigerian project?,’’ he asked.
Many people had described Owukpa as a mortuary community due to the current poor healthcare facilities.
But when contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Samuel Ortom, Terver Akase, promised to revert with details when he is done with his findings on the incident.