There is palpable fear in Ute-Okpu and Idumuesah communities in Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta State over the outbreak of a ravaging mysterious sickness which has claimed not less than 15 lives within 18 to 25 years age bracket in the last two weeks.
Expressing concern over the mysterious death, the Delta State Government, however, assured residents that it would do everything possible to curb the disease.
The Delta State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mordi Ononye gave the assurance on Sunday, November 1, when he led a team of public health officials including two representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO) to Ute Okpu in Ika North-East Local Government Area with the view to unravel the mysterious disease.
According to the Commissioner, “Delta State Government has received information on seemingly mysterious deaths in Ute Okpu and Idumesa communities of Ika North East Local Government Area of the State which prompted the Governor, His Excellency, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, to direct the State Ministry of Health to immediately investigate these deaths, identify the cause/causes and effect containment measures”.
Dr. Ononye, while informing HRM, the Obi of Ute Okpu, of His Excellency, of the Governor’s directive to upgrade the Comprehensive Health Center in Ute -Okpu to a full fledged Hospital, called on members of the community and residents of the State to observe good hygiene as the dry season approaches by properly covering their food, cutting grasses around their surroundings, eliminate rats in their houses and continue to observe the COVID-19 safety guide lines especially hand washing with soap and running water.
On his part, Dr. Richard Ikwuogu, the State Epidemiologist said that his office sent officers to the community immediately the information reached the Ministry of Health, stating that the active case search that commenced the previous day continues.
He added that his team has visited the families of the affected persons in the community and also the case in the hospital in Umunede, collected their samples and interviewed them.
Dr. Ikwogu said that though a suspicion of viral hemorrhagic fever, or substance abuse, the outcome of the test on collected samples will give clear information on the disease and that will determine the next line of action .
HRM Obi Solomon Chukwuka I, Obi of Ute Okpu while welcoming the Health Commissioner and his team to his palace, thanked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for giving the directive for the health center in his domain to be upgraded.
He expressed relief that government’s intervention through the visit has brought hope to them and assurance that the disease will be curbed.
He assured the Commissioner and his team of the co-operation from him and his subjects and encouraged them to feel free and let him know of any challenge they may come across when interacting with residents of the community.
The Obi prayed and wished them success as they carry our their investigations in the community.