A strange illness with inexplicable signs of blindness has continued ravaged Ruga community in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
A visit to the community, two kilometres from the Abuja popular City gate, said to be home to about 3,000 people, mostly of the Hausa, Fulani, Tiv and Gwandara extractions, was attacked by the strange illness three months ago, showed that about 60 people, both children and adults, have been affected.
Reacting to the strange illness, the Acting Secretary of FCT Health and Human Services Secretariat, Dr. Mohammed Mai, said while the Secretariat had taken an emergency medical mission to the area when the illness was first reported, it was compelled to do a follow up to ensure that the illness was completely eradicated.
Mai said the initial diagnosis of about 20 people carried out in the community showed some allergies suspected to have been borne out of an untidy environment.
According to him, the community’s lack of healthcare facilities is because the area is an “unplanned squatter settlement”.
He said: “When we visited in August they had about 20 cases. Up till now we have not been able to establish the cause of the allergy. The issue of water supply in that community is a major consideration.
“The area is a squatter settlement. There are no facilities in the place. It has a makeshift settlement and their major source of water supply is the pond, which both human and animals use, although there is a commercial borehole. As at last intervention, the public health department has provided some interventions, such as eye drops, and others.”
Also, the Director, FCT Public Health Department, Dr. Humphrey Okoroukwu, said the initial intervention carried out in the community by his office in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) had brought relief to the residents.
Okoroukwu also said that apart from the eye drops and other medications that were distributed to the affected persons, the FCT Administration had given directives that more surveillance be carried out in the area to ensure that human lives were not lost to the outbreak of the strange illness.
The District Head of Karamajiji, Chief Dauda Dogo, told journalists that the community was under his jurisdiction, and that the strange illness had created untold fear among the residents.
The traditional ruler, who appreciated the intervention of government, appealed that the intervention should include provision of potable water and healthcare facilities.
New Telegraph News