One of the patients receiving medical care for Monkeypox at the quarantine centre in Bayelsa State has committed suicide.
The State Commissioner for Health, Professor Ebitimitula Etebu, told journalists in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital on Monday that the patient was among 21 persons suspected to have been infected with the viral disease.
They were being managed at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital.
Professor Etebu said it was unfortunate that the patient took his own life despite speedily recovering from the disease.
He, however, declined to provide details of how the patient committed suicide.
The health commissioner, who explained that the patient’s medical history did not suggest any mental illness or features of depression which could have explained why he committed suicide, stressed that the patient did not die from the disease.
To identify what led the patient to take his life, the commissioner said a committee had 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”.
He added that the police and his family have been duly informed and all due diligence is being followed for the safe burial and sympathized with the family over their loss.
The commissioner confirmed the outbreak of Monkeypox in the state, saying laboratory evidence had confirmed 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.
The Commissioner for Information, Daniel Iworiso-Markson on his part urged residents to continue to use preventive measures and ensure they avoid bushmeat and other causes of the disease.