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Strange Illness Hits Students of OAU

An uncommon illness with strong symptoms of malaria is currently on the outbreak in the Obafemi Awolowo university with differing accounts of a possible cause for it.
Students of one of Nigeria’s oldest universities, Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, have expressed concern about increased cases of illness among students.

A visit to the institution’s largest student hostel, Awolowo Hall, showed that many of the rooms had at least one student who had fallen ill.

One of the rooms, which has 8 occupants, had five of them already falling ill this past week.

An average of five students stay in a room in the hostel officially although the figure is often up to a dozen due to the shortage of student accommodation. The increased cases of illness has been attributed to the ‘harsh’ weather conditions while some students have attributed it to poor sanitary conditions of the hostels.

Some students also alleged that they were given expired drugs at the institutions health centre when they visited after they fell ill.

One of the students who just recovered from his illness, Adebayo Benjamin, said, “I was feeling dizzy, vomited , had high temperature and headache , I have not felt this way before.”

Another student, Abiodun of Management and Accounting Department, said his illness prevented him from preparing for the university’s examination which begins early March.

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A visit to the health centre of the institution also showed that an average of three doctors attended to the scores of students who thronged the hospital. Some of the symptoms complained of by students include high temperature, vomiting, dizziness, stomach ache and headache.

One of the doctors on duty attributed the increased illness to the harsh weather and lack of rest by students. Other health workers, who confirmed the increase in number of students appearing at the centre, however. said the situations in the hostel may have made the conditions worse. The hospital’s Chief Medical Director was not on seat and could not be reached on phone.

Already, the university’s Association of Campus Journalists, ACJ, has blamed the hostel conditions for the illness.

“The drainages at the back of our hostels have not been cleaned for about one month thereby breeding mosquitoes that have spread the strange virus,” Omole Isaac, the ACJ spokesperson said in a statement. “Our advise to students is to keep their rooms clean as we have not witnessed this kind of development before.”

Some of the students, however, blamed their colleagues for the poor sanitary conditions of the hostels.

“The way hostel facilities are used by students can be annoying, little precautions need be taken although this strange fever is not controllable,” a student, Samuel Olatunde, said,

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