*Says over 70 persons feared dead
By Ignatius Okorocha
Disturbed by the increasing loss of lives in parts of Benue State linked to strange ailment, the Senate on Wednesday urged the Federal Ministry of Health, the National Arbovirus and Vector Research(NAVRC) to investigate the root cause of the killer ailment.
This is even as the Upper chamber has discovered that no fewer than 70 lives have been lost to the strange ailment.
It also asked the Health Ministry to mobilize focal persons to the area to quickly compliment the efforts of the Benue state government to ascertain the nature of the ailment.
The upper chamber urged the Nigeria Center for disease Control (NCDC) to promptly put up surveillance to contain the disease and see to the treatment of victims and protect others from further contacting it.
It further asked NCDC and National Primary HeathCare Development (NPHCDA)to synergize and support the people of Benue South Senatorial District and in particular the Epeilo-Otukpa and Itabono-Owukpa communities to treat, prevent and or reduce the number of cases and deaths.
These resolutions of the Senate,followed a motion by Senator Patrick Abba Moro(Benue South) on the urgent need to deal with the outbreak of a strength ailment alleged to be Yellow Fever, ravaging Epeilo-Otukpa and Itabono-Owukpa communities in Ogbadibo local government area of Benue state.
Consequently, the Red chamber has also asked the Health Ministry to immediately activate and set up a multi-Agency yellow fever emergency operatives Centre (EOC) in Benue South, should the result come out positively for yellow fever , to conduct mass vaccination and awareness campaign in Benue south Senatorial district.
In his submission, sponsor of the Motion, Sen.Moro had noted with grave pain the outbreak of a strange ailment ravaging the communities in his senatorial district leading to incessant lost of lives in the areas.
He lamented that the strange ailment has not yet been effectively diagnosed by health authorities,notwithstanding the intervention of Benue State Ministry of Health and Human Services that has collected samples and sent to National Reference Laboratory to establish the kind of organism that is causing the ailment.
The lawmaker is also saddened that people affected in the rural localities and dying on daily basis in their numbers with Epeilo and Itabono communities recording 20 and 25 deaths toll increases hourly and that the disease is spreading to Ichama in Okpokwu where three deaths have just been recorded.