A STRANGE disease is haunting residents of Arusha’s largest district where a total of 21 people have so far died, with many others seriously ill at the Pinyinyi Ward of Ngorongoro District.
But while the disease has been wreaking havoc since 2013, the victims’ deaths were actually recorded between 2014 and 2016, which means many others could have perished in the past before local leaders realised it was a looming disaster.
The Arusha Regional Commissioner, Mr Mrisho Gambo, who is touring Ngorongoro District, has ordered an emergency operation to address the situation though the Regional Medical Officer, Dr Frida Mokiti, claims to be unaware of the disaster.
The Pinyinyi Ward Councillor, Mr James Mushi, revealed that many of the victims of the strange disease, seem to vomit blood continuously and that the malady was first detected in the area four years ago, yet local medical officers have been doing very little to rescue the situation.
“Here we are almost cut off from the world; there is no public transport, no phone services and for the few who can manage to trek the distance, walk all the way to Loliondo for treatment,” said Mr Mushi, adding that when things get tough, they are referred to locations in neighbouring Kenya.
The Ngorongoro District Medical Officer (DMO), Dr Omari Sukari, admitted that the blood regurgitating disease was a problem in the area and that it has so far killed more than 21 people in the area and the situation could even be worse.
Dr Sukari also confessed that he was still at a loss as to the exact cause of the disease. “At first we thought it to be a serious case of schistosomiasis but later concluded that there could be something else that evaded our diagnosis,” said Dr Sukari.
“We have sent samples of the victims’ blood to other advanced medical laboratories in Dar es Salaam and Arusha but until now there has been no response,” said the DMO.
He also admitted that it was only a few who managed to seek medical services in the area that were entered into records, adding that many others suffered and died in their homes unnoticed.
Mr Gambo was shocked, not only by the presence of such deadly disease under his region but more so due to the fact that some senior medical personnel, such as the Regional Medical Officer could be ignorant of the fact.
The RC ordered samples to be taken to the National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) to see how the problem could be solved once and for all.