FG, WHO lab confirm three Monkeypox cases in Bayelsa
• Victim commits suicide
• ‘Lagos free of disease as four patients tested negative’
• Suspected cases rise to 43, virus spreads to eight states
• Igbo community in Taraba may jettison polio immunisation
• Minister says 13% have access to hand-washing facilities
• IPOB vows to monitor schools against military vacination of children
The Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) with the help of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Laboratory in Dakar, Senegal, have confirmed three cases out of suspected Monkeypox samples from Bayelsa State.
The ministry and the NCDC in a joint statement noted that there is no Monkeypox in Lagos State as four cases tested were confirmed to be negative. They also said that suspected cases had risen to 43 and the virus spread to eight states of Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ekiti, Lagos, Enugu, Nasarawa, Rivers and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and National Co-ordinator of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, said the NCDC and FMoH expect that the Monkeypox virus does not cause many of these cases being reported from other states in Nigeria.
He said further laboratory tests using whole genome sequencing were being carried out by the Africa Centre for Genomics and Infectious Diseases in Redeemers University, Ede, Osun State.
However, the state Commissioner for Health, Ebitimitula Etebu, has said that one of the patients of the viral disease has committed suicide at the isolation centre of the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH) where he was undergoing treatment.
He said the patient was recovering from the disease and had improved significantly.
In another development, members of the Igbo community in Taraba State may have debarred their eligible children from being immunised as a result of the outbreak of Monkeypox, The Guardian learnt.
The Galadima of Muri, in Jalingo, the state capital, Alhaji Tukur Abba Tukur, who spoke yesterday at a meeting in his palace between members of the State Social Mobilisation Committee on Polio and the leadership of the Igbo community, emphasised on the need for all and sundry to work for the success of the ongoing polio immunisation in the state.
The monarch said the committee could not fathom why the Igbo despite their level of education and exposure have decided to go ahead preventing their eligible children from being immunised.
He said: “My greatest surprise is that the Igbo community in Taraba who are more educated, exposed and friendly are the ones rejecting the polio vaccine which is not in anyway related with MonkeyPox.”
“I enjoin the Igbo to join in the fight against polio to save our children and make the state polio-free.”
But the Chief of Igbo in the state, Chief Wilfred Ibe, who spoke through his representative, Chief Bathelomen Nwokolo, admonished his people to embrace polio vaccination.
In another development, the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, has expressed worry that only 13 per cent of Nigerians have access to hand-washing facilities with soap and water
This, according to him, was against the backdrop on the need to scale up hand-washing practice to prevent contacting Monkeypox among other communicable diseases.
Adamu stated this yesterday during the Global Hand Washing Day celebration in Abuja.
However, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has pledged to monitor all the schools in Igboland to ensure that the military does not inject any child and inflict any poison.
The IPOB, in a statement, advised parents to send their children back to school since the military has withdrawn its soldiers earlier dispatched to schools to vaccinate the children.
It said it would continue to monitor the situation in Igboland, especially in Anambra State and inform the people about any development.
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