One of the patients receiving medical care for monkeypox at the quarantine centre in Bayelsa state has committed suicide, the state commissioner for health, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu, has said.
Addressing a press conference in Yenagoa on Monday, October 16, 2017, he said the deceased was among the 21 suspected cases of ‘MonkeyPox’ that were being managed at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH).
Etebu was joined by the commissioner for information and orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, the chief medical director of the NDUH and other senior health officials.
He expressed regret that the patient took his own life despite speedily recovering from the disease and stated that his medical history did not suggest any mental illness or features of depression.
The health commissioner maintained the patient did not die from the disease, adding that the police and his family have been duly informed and all due diligence is being followed for the eventual respectful and safe burial.
While sympathizing with the family, the commissioner informed that a committee has been put in place to evaluate his past and recent clinical and social history to determine “if there were undisclosed mental illness or personal family problem that could have justified the suicide”.
Meanwhile Prof. Etebu has confirmed that truly it is monkeypox that is in the state following laboratory evidence which now puts to rest the earlier suspicion of the disease.
He, however, assured the general public again that the government is doing everything to contain the outbreak and ensure all patients receive appropriate care and treatment.
Iworiso-Markson on his part urged residents to continue to use preventive measures and ensure they avoid bushmeats and other causes of the disease.