It was a total commotion as it has been reported that the many residents of Ute Okpu and Idumesa communities in Ika North East Local Government Area, Delta State have been thrown into fear.
They have been thrown into fear following the mysterious deaths of over 15 persons within 18 to 25 years age bracket in the past two weeks in the area.
But the State Government has assured residents of the area that it would do everything possible to curb the disease.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mordi Ononye gave the assurance, Sunday when he led a team of public health officials to Ute Okpu with the view to unravel the mysterious disease that has claimed the lives of over 15 persons.
Ononye said: “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, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, to direct the State Ministry of Health to immediately investigate these deaths, identify the cause/causes and effect containment measures”.
Briefing the Obi of Ute Okpu, HRM Obi Solomon Chukwuka I, of the Governor’s directive to upgrade the Comprehensive Health Center in Ute -Okpu to a full fledged Hospital, he 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.
The State Epidemiologist, Dr. Richard Ikwuogu, said his office had sent officers to the community immediately the information reached the Ministry of Health, adding that the active case search that commenced the previous day continues.
Ikwogu said his team has visited the families of the affected persons in the community and also the cases in the hospital in Umunede, collected their samples and interviewed them.
He said 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.
On his part, HRM Obi Solomon Chukwuka I, thanked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for giving the directive for the health center in his domain to be upgraded, expressing relief that government’s intervention through the visit has brought hope to them and assurance that the disease would 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.
In the Commissioner’s entourage were the Zonal Medical Director Agbor Zone; Zonal Hospital Administrator Agbor; State Epidemiologist; State Disease Surveillance and Notification Officer (DSNO); Executive Secretary, Health Ika North East LGA; Council’s DSNO and Health Educator; two representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO) among others.