If there is one lesson we can learn from the Coronavirus pandemic is the fact that healthcare is easily, if not the single most important sector in any and every government. Therefore, negligence and insufficient funding for the health sector in even the most remote community in the world could literally lead to a global disaster.
So now more than ever, every community in the world must be vigilant to any strange ailment that may emerge. Unfortunately, the likely emergence of an epidemic in a part of Nigeria is gradually becoming a frightening reality.
There have been reports that at the moment, Kogi state is recording many cases of a strange ailment ravaging Olamaboro Local Government area in the state. The disease which has been reported to be aggressive, makes short work of its victims, taking just one week to kill anyone it infects.
As it stands, the true cause of the disease is yet to be identified; so it goes without saying that no cure is available and treatment methods employed so far have not worked. The symptoms of this disease includes headache, red eye, loss of appetite, inability to urinate or defecate, convulsion before the victim finally dies.
The lawmaker representing Olamaboro Constituency in the Kogi State House of Assembly, Ujah Alewo, raised the alarm for this possible epidemic and disclosed this as a matter of urgency to the house, after which he called for the attention of the State government.
To say that this is not the time for such issue would be an understatement, as we are not even done with the pandemic currently on our hands.
With Nigeria wrestling a global pandemic, it’s a no brainer that the Kogi government and even the Federal government’s response to such alarming news should be swift, however, this has not been the case, as the state has reported as much as 50 deaths.
It also doesn’t ease the mind to look back at Kogi State’s abysmal handling of the coronavirus, and all the controversies that surrounded it, and think that this state has to take on the responsibility of dealing with this new problem. The state is simply not trustworthy enough.
For starters, the late chief judge of the state; Nasir Ajanah was said to have died from COVID-19 complications.
As if that was not enough cause for alarm, the state government went ahead to report low cases of infections, one of the lowest in the country, despite being surrounded by states whose cases numbers were increasing astronomically. This raised suspicions, leading health officials to investigate and eventually report that the state rarely carried out any tests, hence no cases were reported.
In fact, Health Minister Osagie Ehanire, on May 8, reported that the efforts to support the state in combating COVID-19 failed, as a delegation that included Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) officials had to flee the state for fear of being quarantined by the Kogi State Government.
Eventually, health officials rejected the COVID-19 index case in Kogi state, that same month.
It doesn’t end there. On June 1, it was reported that unknown gunmen attacked and disrupted a scheduled press conference at a hospital in the state. Read story here… The briefing was put together for health workers to have a conversation with the state government about the challenges health workers in the state were faced with.
However, gunmen attacked the venue and it was alleged that the attack was in response to the negligence of the hospital management in attending to them and their families.
With all this, it’s quite troubling that a new epidemic seem to be raising its head in such an area. The State was largely perceived as irresponsible in handling the COVID-19 saga, one can only wonder how it would fare against a new threat, that poses similar threat as infectious as the coronavirus.