Shocked! Nigerian Community Where 9 Out Of Every 10 Villagers Have Appendicitis (Photos)


In this report, PunchNg reveals a Nigerian community where 9 out of every 10 villagers in the community have Appendicitis. Read the report after the cut.  

Appendectomy (operation to remove a person’s appendix) may not be seen as one of the deadliest surgeries but then, so many people still cringe and even exercise some kind of fears if they are told the operation would be carried out on them.

By the way, Appendicitis is not even a contagious disease, so what could be the reason for a situation where almost nine, out of 10 persons, in a particular community have undergone surgery as a result of the illness? This was the question that gripped our correspondent during a recent visit to Agu-Amede, a rural community in the Isiuzo Local Government Area of Enugu State.

As unbelievable as it sounded when our correspondent got hint of the story, all doubts disappeared within minutes of our correspondent’s arrival in the sleepy community, which, in addition to the unusual health challenges faced by its residents, is also characterised by lack of basic amenities.

Bad roads, lack of potable water, poor power supply, and clustered habitations signal the level of deprivation in a community with little or no government presence.

Coming back to the issue of appendicitis – instant confirmation of tales of the high rate of the ailment in Agu-Amede welcomed our correspondent into the community.

At the very first stop in the village – a bus stop which apparently also serves as a community centre, judging by the presence of small kiosks and food vendors, and other small businesses – our correspondent approached a number of youths who were gathered by the motorcyclists’ park. The youths, numbering about 11, were initially suspicious of our correspondent’s presence in their midst but relaxed a bit when our correspondent introduced himself as a journalist.

And just as soon as our correspondent brought the issue of appendicitis up, nine out of them exclaimed they had had the operation!

In fact, many among the youths, whose average age was about 35 years, also said they had undergone surgery for hernia. Some of them said they had had surgery for hernia on multiple occasions.

The youths informed our correspondent that appendicitis and hernia were common among members of the community. They disclosed that several persons have died as a result of the matter.

However, while (from the accounts of the youths, and from the testimony of other villagers, including elders and community leaders who would later speak to our correspondent), it was beyond doubt that appendicitis was prevalent in the community, the cause of the high rate of the ailment among the population was not certain in any case.

Those who spoke to our correspondent could not agree on a particular reason for the situation, but from the various responses, it could be deduced that the villagers mostly blamed their travails on bad drinking water, hardship, hard work and farming. Interestingly, some of them also seemed suspicious of the medical practitioners.

Like most other rural communities, the people of Agu-Amede are mostly farmers. And, being a particularly poor community, the villagers work extra hard in order to feed themselves and their families, and also meet other contingent needs. Daily life in Agu-Amede involves a lot of physical exertion.

The situation was further compounded by the absence of potable water in the community. The Ankpe stream, the nearest source of water, which our correspondent visited, was definitely not good for drinking but because the Ebenyi River (which has comparatively cleaner water) was quite far from the village, the villagers are, most times, forced to drink from Ankpe stream.

Fetching water from the Ebenyi River, which stretches to parts of Ebonyi State, is a Herculean task, considering the distance and the nature of the road, but given the fact that it provides the cleaner drinking water in the community, it is not difficult to appreciate the level of physical exertion that is involved in the lives of the villagers.

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