Chief Ezenta Ezeani, lawmaker representing Igboetiti East State Constituency in Enugu State, has lauded the state Ministry of Health for quick intervention in the yellow fever outbreak in Ekwegbe Community in the state.
The lawmaker made the commendation in Enugu on Tuesday while speaking to journalists on the outbreak of the epidemic in his constituency.
“Quick intervention of Enugu State Government through the state Ministry of Health stopped my constituents in Ekwegbe community in Igboetiti council area from fleeing in their numbers,’’ Ezeani told newsmen.
The lawmaker said there was gradual return of normalcy and ongoing mass vaccination of people within Ekwegbe and its adjoining communities against yellow fever.
“In the past few weeks, Ekwegbe community in Igboetiti have recorded quite some deaths occasioned by uniform symptoms of headache, body pains, high fever, and vomiting, sometimes the last symptom was vomiting of blood, then death.
“These symptoms were observed to last for 10 days before death with no history of ill-health of these deceased persons.
“The Ekwegbe dwellers saw the slow but silent killer as a mystery which some have advised a strong Christian religious crusade in the community.
“The most recent cases, which instilled great fear, were that of two deaths which happened within three days with the last one, having moved to Parklane Teaching Hospital before giving up, was assessed by the Parklane’s health workers.
“There, a doctor mentioned a case of Yellow fever. Though they tried to resuscitate him, it was already late, he gave up,’’ he said.
The lawmaker said that he was overwhelmed with calls and social media write-ups from his constituents on the frightening dimension of the illness in Ekwegbe.
Ezenta said that he made frantic calls to concerned authorities adding that Dr Ifeanyi Agujiobi, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry and the Chairperson of Igbo-Etiti, Mrs Nkechi Ugwu-Oju, mobilised all state health experts and officials of WHO, UNICEF, NCDC, Red Cross at about 10 a.m. on Nov. 14.
The lawmaker appreciated Agujiobi for his efficiency and responsiveness to the illness, which Ekwegbe community residents perceived to be mysterious.
“Agujiobi in the course of his job and passion for humanity, had to lose sleep for two nights just to save lives,”.
The lawmaker commended Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for pragmatic disease control and rapid response initiatives, strategies and structures put in place in the state describing the efforts as ‘second to none’.
“Yellow fever is real. Please let all join hands to fight it. No one knows the next experience or victim.’’
In a related development, there was presentation of Intravenous infusion, drip giving sets and cannulars donated by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Agujiobi to the Departments of Health in Nsukka and Igbo Etiti local government areas.
The donation was meant to be distributed to Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in affected communities with yellow fever in Igboetiti and Nsukka council areas.