By Elijah Ugani: Health Correspondent
The family of five suspected to be mad whose image went viral last week has been deemed as ‘not psychiatric’ by medical authorities in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
The consultant psychiatrist in the Federal Neuro Psychiatric hospital in Calabar, Dr. Michael Olutoki said a team from the facility visited Ukpah community in Bekwarra local government area and brought them down to Calabar for assessment and possible treatment.
“They not Psychiatric,” Dr. Olutoki said. “The man used to work in Abuja and suddenly he lost his job, his wife used to sell pure water and the business folded and shortly the man lost someone very close to him and they both relocated to the man’s home town, Ukpah in Bekwarra.
“He went and dismantled his father’s house and raised his own kiosk where he lives; this has been on for six years now.
“He has two other children before the illness, they are fine and are with members of his family, but these three children, two females and one male were born during this period of the illness and nothing is wrong with them, they are very healthy,” Olutoki added.
He further explained that: “The man (Mr. Ben Ogar) has some form of disillusion and believes he has voices that speak to him telling him that the world is wicked and so he must protect the world, that is why he protects his family and has so much influence on his wife, for the wife, she is fine, she even assisted us barb the children’s (hair).”
Olutoki stated this while addressing a delegation from the Cross River State Government led by the commissioner fpr health, Dr. Inyang Asibong.
Asibong said the State had to contact the hospital after it got a distress call. “When we got a distress call from Bekwarra that government should intervene, we had to work with the Neuro Psychiatric Hospital Calabar, we got them from Bekwarra for special intervention,” she said.
“Medical examination has shown that the man has some form of disillusion and his wife has ‘folie a duex’ where one starts to behave like the person he or she is close to.
“Looking at them before and now, you will agree with me that there is a great improvement, before next week, we hope that they will get better,” Asibong added.
The ministries of health, women affairs, social welfare and sustainable development all had representatives in the delegation.
And, the women affairs commissioner, Mrs. Stella Odey, commended all those involved in the rescue of the family and noted that the family will be offered psychosocial support in addition to the medical support being provided.
Her counterpart in sustainable development, Mr. Oliver Orok stated that his ministry will partner with other ministries to take care of the children as well as create a space at the orphanage home where the woman can stay and take care of her children, as well as make provision for food and clothes for them.
Meanwhile, the permanent secretary in the health ministry, Dr. Joseph Bassey pledged government’s commitment to aiding the facility through the provision of items earlier mentioned by Dr. Olutoki which include electricity, television, food, clothes and other basic needs.
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.