The residents of Oro-Ago community, in the Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State have been inundated in confusion and anxiety following reports that no fewer than 70 persons have died of a strange illness.
The leaders and members of the community told The Punch that the illness was predominant among the Fulani settlers called the Bororos in the community.
It is understood that a huge number of the Bororos had died since the outbreak of the strange illness on July 23, 2017 – with most of the victims vomiting blood and some black substances.
The President, Oro-Ago Development Union, Olaniyi Olushosa said the death toll as a result of the strange illness had hit 70 in two weeks.
He added that he had reported the matter to the state Ministry of Health in Ilorin, through a doctor that he identified simply as Dr. Lawal.
He said, “Death toll has reached about 70 in two weeks. Those affected are mostly the Fulani people. The matter has been reported to the Ministry of Health.”
“It is worrisome that the Oro-Ago General Hospital had been abandoned and left dilapidated. No health workers, nothing; right now, our community lacks health centres.”
Also speaking, the Oloro of Oro-Ago, Oba Tafa Dada while confirming the outbreak said “It is true that a strange illness has hit some members of Oro-Ago.
“The affected people vomited blood and some black substances. That is the report that I got. I was also told that many people have died, that was why I sent the ODU president to the ministry of health.”
A resident, Taiwo, said the strange illness started on July 23. He claimed that no fewer than 120 people had died. He said about five persons died on Thursday on the way to the General Hospital, Omu-Oran.
He explained that 74 people died in Michede, in Oro-Ago, between July 23 and Thursday. He added that 36 people died at Gaa Wakil along Oreke Road, Oro-Ago, between Sunday, August 6 and Thursday.
According to him, 14 people died at Orisa via Ahun in Oro. He also said that four people died on Wednesday, while five died on Thursday.
He said, “Since July 23, we have been experiencing a strange disease around the Oro-Ago area. About 120 people have died.
“The symptoms are usually intermittent headaches and serious stomach pain. If it starts, between one hour and one hour thirty minutes, they would start vomiting blood. Those who were unable to vomit blood will die within six hours. But those who vomited blood would stay for about three days before they die.
“We have called the attention of the state Ministry of Health. We have not seen anybody.”
However, speaking in denial, the Kwara State Commissioner for Health, Alhaji Suliaman Aloge, said there was no strange illness in the area.
His words: “The Public Health Department, through the Epidemiological Unit, has investigated and such a thing is not recorded. There is no outbreak of any strange illness in Oro-Ago. Why some people raised the alarm is that the worker at the health centre in Oro-Ago was transferred and has not been replaced. I have directed relevant units to move another nurse to the health centre.
“I was informed that only one woman died on Tuesday. She died of a confirmed case of cancer. There is nothing like outbreak of illness in that community.”