About 30 persons have been confirmed following a mysterious disease ravaging Ute Okpu and Idumusa communities in Ika North East LGA of Delta State. The state government which last weekend raised the alarm of the death of 15 youths within the age bracket of 18 to 25 years old in the two communities suspected hemorrhagic fever, or substance abuse as
Investigation, however, revealed that some of the victims vomited blood before giving up the ghost while others complained of general fatigue, headache and feverish condition before passing out.
A mother, Mrs Monica Emeke who lost two of his children ,(a boy26 and girl 22) to the unidentified ailment at Ute Okpu expressed worry over the rate at which death was occurring as five persons died in one day in the community. Other persons who spoke to journalists said several deaths have been recorded in neighbouring villages including Ute Erunu.
The state government has however assured residents in the area that everything possible was being done to curb the disease.
The acting Chairman/CEO of the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC), Engr Mukhtar S Ali has disclosed that the country is set to acquire a Multi-Purpose Research Reactor (MPRR) that will produce enough radioisotopes to meet local and regional demand for applications in medicine, industry and agriculture.
Speaking in Abuja when he declared open a national workshop on ‘Stakeholders’ Needs and Requirement for deployment of Multi-Purpose Research Reactor,’ Engr Ali further explained that the MPRR “will also compliment the efforts of the MNSR for training of personnel for the nation’s nuclear power programme, especially training of power plant operators and regulatory staff, and also offer Nigerian scientists the opportunity to carry out research in other areas of peaceful applications of nuclear technology.”
According to the NAEC boss, “Nigeria currently has only one research reactor in operation. This is a 30kW miniature neutron source research reactor (MNSR), located at the Centre for Energy Research and Training (CERT), Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. CERT is under the administration of the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC). He argued that the present reactor “is neither suitable for neutron beam experiments nor other advanced applications.” When completed, the NAEC boss said the MPRR will be the only one in this region of the African continent capable of large-scale radioisotopes production.
The MPRR is expected to have a huge market share in the supply of radioisotopes in the West-African sub-region, especially medical radioisotopes, and the RR may for some time to come remain the only monopoly of its kind in the region. It is therefore envisaged that funds arising from sale of radioisotope and other services will form a reasonable percentage of the running costs of the reactor.”