• Says diabetes an epidemic in Benue

From Scholastica Onyeka, Makurdi

The Catholic Diocese of Makurdi in partnership with Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has treated over 2981 persons of snake bites in the state.

Out of this number, 64 persons have died while over 2,917 others survived.

Bishop of Makurdi Diocese, His Lordship, Most Rev. Wilfred Anagbe, disclosed this during the commissioning of a New Ultra Modern Laboratory centre at the Bishop Murray Hospital under the Makurdi Catholic Diocesan Global Integrated Health Initiative for All, (MCDGIHIA).

According to him, the partnership between the church and state government for humanitarian services has not only contributed to the welfare of residents but has also saved many lives in the state.

“We have seen the interventions of the state Governor Ortom in this place and the treatment is very expensive. I’m happy he is partnering with the church to ensure the sustenance and implementation of this project.

He lamented the destruction of their hospitals and schools in Agagbe and Udei in Gwer West and Guma Local Government Areas respectively, by suspected herdsmen, threatening to institute cases against the herdsmen to the Vatican.

The Bishop also raised an alarm that diabetes is becoming an epidemic in the state and urged the government to urgently arrest the situation.

He said that “for the past 20 years in Benue, lifestyles have changed, feeding styles have changed and the worst of all illnesses is diabetes. We are taking in a lot of things that are complicating our health. Diabetes is becoming an epidemic and people are not even checking themselves.”

He appreciated the fovernor for his interventions and partnership saying it shows he has an interest in the life, health and welfare of the people.

Commissioning the centre in Makurdi on Monday, Governor Samuel Ortom disclosed that over N680 million has been expended on snake bite victims.

“Initially, my foundation was handling the snake bites before I became Governor. At a point I owed the Federal Medical Center (FMC), Rahama Hospital and Bishop Murray Hospital, all in Makurdi, the sum of N70 million and when I became Governor, through a State Executive memo from the Commissioner for Health, it was agreed to hand it over to state government which has expended N680 million.

He pledged that the government will provide Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing machines, worth N20 million to the hospital saying, “It is our responsibility to complement what the church is already doing to make life more meaningful for the people of Benue state.”

Congratulating Bishop Murray Hospital for the diagnostic centre, Ortom said: “You may have Lassa Fever, you may have diabetic or Yellow fever, if there is no equipment to diagnose what exactly is wrong with you, you may be receiving the wrong medication.”

Ortom said the Diocese of Makurdi has made an immense contribution to the service of the people adding that so much impact and value addition has been made in Benue and the expansion of development is next to nothing.