Strange stomach disease wreaks havoc at NUL

MATHATISI SEBUSI

MASERU – The cause of the rare stomach disease attacking National University of Lesotho female students remains a mystery which has left health officials baffled as they seek answers from laboratories at home and outside. The rare disease reportedly starts as a stomachache and then results in the stomach swelling with severe pain. To date at least three students at the institution have been affected by the mysterious disease, with reports claiming one of them passed on earlier last month. Another case was confirmed on Monday this week. Reatlehile Makateng, leader and representative of all students from the country’s tertiary institutions, said the disease’s symptoms are frightening.

“The first victim who succumbed to the strange illness endured unbearable pain in her stomach and after a long period of affliction her condition worsened as her stomach swelled. “The deceased was in her second year here at NUL. She experienced severe pains in her stomach then later became swollen in a creepy manner. She was then hospitalised at the Queen Mamohato Memorial hospital where she underwent a successful treatment. “Nevertheless, a fortnight after the surgery she developed similar symptoms and sadly lost her life,” he said.

A few weeks after a fresh case of the illness was reported and this time around it was a Bachelor of Arts Social work student currently in her final year. Makateng said the patient is in hospital at Maluti Adventist Hospital where she has been placed under intensive care. Another student, Makateng said, also female came forward on Monday saying she had endured the same symptoms for three full weeks. “The second victim who emerged after the burial of the deceased is also in dreadful condition, and is under strict surveillance by health officials at Maluti Adventist Hospital,” he said. Relevant details pertaining the latest victim are yet to be disclosed, however, he said.

“We are all living in fear and anxiety, the worst part is that the doctors are yet to find out whether it is a pandemic or not. It is not easy but I urge everybody to be united and calm down because I have engaged the ministry of health to step in,” he said. Makateng said health officials are still investigating the cause of the sickness and have encouraged every student who might experience the mentioned symptoms to inform the school authorities. Ministry of health is investigating the rare stomach disease that has been reported from the National University of Lesotho.

The ministry has reported that on May 9, 2022, Maseru District Health Management (DHMT) received an alarm about a rare stomach disease that results in swelling of the stomach which was identified among NUL female students. The ministry noted that to address this matter, the ministry’s office on disease control visited the NUL to investigate matters pertaining the epidemic. In a press release, the ministry noted that its officers are currently actively investigating the matter together with medical experts where the victims are being nursed.

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