BY OBUTE JAMES
The Nigerian Senate, on Wednesday, called on the Federal Government and health institutions to quickly intervene and halt the strange illness which has killed many people in Owukpa, Ogbadibo LGA of Benue State.
The Senate resolution was sequel to a motion by the former Minister of Interior and current representative of Benue South Senatorial District in the Senate, Senator Patrick Abba Moro.
Presenting his motion on Wednesday, Moro alerted the Senate of the outbreak of the strange ailment believed to be yellow fever.
He explained that, “the strange ailment has not yet been effectively diagnosed by health authorities, even though, the Benue State Ministry of Health and Human Services has been able to intervene to some extent, having collected samples and sent to National Reference Laboratory to establish the kind of organism causing the outbreak and avail victims of interim treatment”
The lawmaker said, “people are affected in the rural localities and dying on a daily basis in their numbers with Itabono in Owupka alone recording about 76 death Epeilo-Otukpa community equally recorded 20 deaths few days ago while death toll increases hourly and the disease is spreading to Ichama in Okpokwu LG A where three deaths have been recorded”.
He told journalists that vaccines for yellow fever have been given to the people in the area, yet the number of death continued to increase.
Since the cause of the deaths was not yet known, the Senate called on the Federal Ministry of Health, the National Arbovirus and Vector Research Centre (NAVRC), to investigate each case and respond to the outbreak.
The Senate also urged the Ministry to mobilize focal persons to the area to quickly complement the efforts of the Benue State Government to ascertain the true nature of the ailment.
The Health Ministry is expected to immediately activate and set up a multi-agency yellow fever Emergency Operatives Centres (EOC) in Benue South Senatorial District should the result come out positive for yellow fever and to conduct mass vaccination and awareness campaigns in the zone.