By Timothy Agbor, Osogbo
Fear has enveloped the entire community of the Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Osun state following strange ailments that have inflicted students of the institution.
This came when the school is rounding off the second semester with continous assessment while examinations were expected to commence by forthnight.
A visit to the university’s Health Centre on the campus on Sunday, by our correspondent revealed that the undergraduates in their hundreds besieged the clinic with varying complaints over their health condition.
As some of the ailing students showed symptoms ranging from headache, stomach ache, body weakness, irritation, others with severe cases complained of fever, severe stomach ache, vomiting, sore throat and acute loss of appetite.
The strange diseases were said to have been rampant among the female undergraduates of the school while some parents have stormed the campus to withdraw their wards to seek a better medical attention outside the campus.
It was gathered that no fewer than I50 students of OAU have sought for medical attention at the health centre on similar complaints.
Some of the students who brought their colleagues to the clinic were seen with books and lecture materials owing to the tests they would be having this week.
One of the victims of the strange illness who identified herself as Chioma told our correspondent at the school’s Health Centre that she was hale and hearty on Sunday morning before she suddenly felt weak and sharp pain in her stomach around 3:30pm same day.
Another affected student who was struggling to be accommodated in the long queue of those waiting to be attended to by about three doctors was screaming “I am dying” while she held her stomach firmly.
When Bisola, a part one student of the Department of Psychology of the institution was rushed in by her colleagues, she was weeping and vomiting shouting “my stomach o, my stomach o.”
After she was eventually attended to, Bisola showed sign of relief saying “it was strange. As if I ate food poison. I have never felt like this before in y life.”
To show the seriousness of the development, some students were referred to the institution’s teaching hospital in the town as there was no space to admit the ailing students.
Meanwhile, the situation on the campus was heightened when an unconfirmed social media broadcast from unknown source claimed that the doctors were unable to diagnose the strange illness thus tagging it “deadly virus”.
But authorities of the university have debunked that there was a strange sickness on the campus but described the development as a reaction of the climate change coupled with the examination tension on campus.
Speaking, OAU Public Relations Officer, Mr Abiodun Olanrewaju, said the social media report of epidemic disease in the institution was unfounded and baseless.
Addressing journalists at the Health Centre, Olanrewaju said the sickness is a malaria caused by the climate change and was not peculiar to OAU, saying “no student has been admitted.
He however urged members of the public to refute the social media report where over 150 students were said to have been admitted.
Conducting the press round the wards, Director of Health Centre, Dr Irinoye Adedayo Ishola, said there is no outbreak of any infection.
He said “all we have is malaria endemic. The anxiety of examination coupled with poor nutrition caused the breakdown by some students.
“Climate change is another causes because the heat is much and it affects the body.
He said the school would have cried out if they have perceived a strange disease.