It was jubilation galore at the Cenotaph, Asaba, venue of the passing out ceremonies of the Batch ‘A’ National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), as the corp member stricken by Lassa Fever passed out with the 3,011 others.
Olayinka Emmanuel, a corps member serving in Asaba, Oshimili South Local Government Area, capital of Delta State, had tested positive to the dreaded Lassa fever epidemic.
He was reportedly down with high body temperature at his lodge in Asaba and was rushed to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba by his colleagues, where he diagnosed of Lassa Fever and administered first aid before referred to the Emergency Unit of the Specialist Hospital, Irrua, in Edo state in February. Rumour had spread over the town that Yinka died of the disease as he took time from his place of primary assignment to recuperate.
But on Thursday, Emmanuel Olayinka emerged on the parade ground donned in his complete NYSC kit sharing pleasantries with his colleagues, saying, “here I am, I am alive.”
Flanked by the state NYSC Coordinator, Mrs Olutayo Samuel, Yinka in a rather philosophical tone told Daily Trust that since the rumour went off like wild fire whereas he is alive, it would turn out to become a fortune of long life and prosperity for him.
“I give all thanks to God for keeping me alive, even though rumour spread that I was dead. All glory to God that now I am better and in perfect health. I want to thank the state NYSC Coordinator, the CMD of FMC Asaba, the CMD of Irrua Specialist Hospital and my fellow corpers who rushed me immediately to FMC”, he said.
Delta State NYSC Coordinator, Mrs Olutayo Samuel, who danced with evident joy, glorified God for sparing Yinka’s life and the rest of 3,010 colleagues. She however regretted that a total number of 52 corps members who defaulted during the service year will face sanctions ranging between two weeks and six months extension of service.
She stressed that the remarkable achievements of corps members through their Community Development Services (CDS) in the areas of healthcare delivery, massive awareness campaign against the deadly lassa-fever, Coronavirus and HIV/AIDS disease was an eloquent testimony of their meaningful contributions.