Liberian Diplomat Patrick Sawyer, the man credited with ‘importing’ Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) to Nigeria, ‘knew he was sick’ with the virus before entry to Nigeria. He was also advised by the Liberian Health Ministry not to travel out of the country but he ignored the instruction, flew to Nigeria and died here transmitting the virus to Nigerian medical personnel who offered medical services to him.
AllAfrica.com gives a very detailed tale of how the Liberian American Patrick Sawyer acted before and after he was diagnosed with Ebola, please read this story and share it:
Barely 24 hours before his death, Patrick Sawyer had a rather strange – and in the words of medical and diplomatic sources here, “Indiscipline” encounter with nurses and health workers at First Consultants Hospital in Obalende, one of the most crowded parts of Lagos, a population of some 21 million inhabitants, FrontPageAfrica has learned.
Looking to get to the bottom of Sawyer’s strange ailment on the Asky Airline flight, which Sawyer transferred on in Togo, hospital officials say, he was tested for both malaria and HIV AIDS. However, when both tests came back negative, he was then asked whether he had made contact with any person with the Ebola Virus, to which Sawyer denied. Sawyer’s sister, Princess had died of the deadly virus on Monday, July 7, 2014 at the Catholic Hospital in Monrovia. On Friday, July 25, 2014, 18 days later, Sawyer died in Lagos.
The hospital issued a statement this week stating that Sawyer was quarantined immediately after he was discovered to have been infected with the deadly virus. In addition, a barrier nursing was implemented around Sawyer and the Lagos State Ministry of Health was immediately notified. Hospital authorities also requested the Federal Ministry of Health for additional laboratory test based on its suspicion of Ebola.
FrontPageAfrica has now learned that upon being told he had Ebola, Mr. Sawyer went into a rage, denying and objecting to the opinion of the medical experts. “He was so adamant and difficult that he took the tubes from his body and took off his pants and urinated on the health workers, forcing them to flee.
The hospital would later report that it resisted immense pressure to let out Sawyer from its hospital against the insistence from some higher-ups and conference organizers that he had a key role to play at the ECOWAS convention in Calabar, the Cross River State capital. In fact, FrontPageAfrica has been informed that officials in Monrovia were in negotiations with ECOWAS to have Sawyer flown back to Liberia.
A text message in possession of FrontPageAfrica from the ECOWAS Ambassador in Liberia, responding to a senior GoL official reads: Your Excellency, the disease control department of the Federal Ministry of Health just contacted me through the hospital now, insisting that Mr. Sawyer be evacuated for now. Pls advise urgently.”
LUTH Lab positive on Ebola
First Consultants said that it then went further to reach senior officials in the Office of the Secretary of Health of the USA who assisted it with contacts at the Centre for Disease Control and W.H.O Regional Laboratory Centre in Senegal. According to the hospital, the initial results from LUTH laboratory showed a signal of possible Ebola virus, but required confirmation.
The First Consultants statement noted that it was able to obtain confirmation of Ebola virus disease, (Zaire strain) after working with the state, federal and international agencies. Sawyer was pronounced dead at 6:50 AM Nigeria time, on July 25 and all agencies were properly notified.
Once the case was officially confirmed, the hospital was temporarily shut down and in-house patients immediately evacuated. Sawyer’s body was subsequently cremated under W.H.O guidelines and witnessed by all appropriate agencies, according to the hospital statement. “In keeping with W.H.O guidelines, the hospital is shut down briefly as full decontamination exercise is currently in progress. The re-opening of the hospital will also be in accordance with its guidelines”, the hospital said.
In the aftermath of Sawyer’s death, both federal and state authorities in Lagos have instituted measures to curb the spread of the disease and quarantining all those who came in contact with Sawyer.
In total, Sawyer reportedly came in direct contact with 59 persons, 44 of whom were at the hospital he was taken to when he fell ill, according to the Lagos State government. The Lagos state government clarified in a statement Monday that Ms. Obi-Nnadozie, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Liberia was not among the 15 people at the airport who had had direct contact with Mr. Sawyer before his death as was initially believed.
However, it has been reported that Sawyer came in contact with three ECOWAS officials – a driver, a liaison officer and a protocol officer. Also in the list are two nursing staff and five airport handlers.
Dr. Jide Idris, the Lagos State Health Commissioner, told a news conference this week that 20 per cent of those that came in contact with the deceased had been physically screened. “The private hospital (First Consultants Medical Centre) was demobilized and primary source of infection eliminated. The patient has been cremated and the ash will be transferred to the Liberian government whenever the need arises. Decontamination process in all affected areas has commenced,” Dr. Idris said.
In the aftermath of Sawyer’s death, diplomatic, ECOWAS and medical authorities here are baffled over Sawyer’s deception, especially armed with new information that his sister, Princess had died of the deadly virus and his denial. Finance Ministry sources in Monrovia are in quiet murmur over what they feel was a letdown by Sawyer for not being forthcoming with his peers he worked with.
The ministry has since been temporarily shut down and those who came in contact with Sawyer are on a 21-day forced incubation monitoring process. “All senior officials coming in direct or indirect contact with Mr. Sawyer has been placed on the prescribed 21 days of observatory surveillance,” the ministry said in a statement this week.
FrontPageAfrica has now learnt that Sawyer exhibited similar indiscipline behavior during his sister’s stay at the Catholic Hospital in Monrovia where she was taken because he noticed she was bleeding profusely and was later found to be a victim of Ebola.
Sawyer was seen with blood on his clothing after his sister’s death and had earlier demanded that she be placed in a private room. President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf cited indiscipline and disrespect as a key reason why Sawyer contracted the Ebola virus. She said his failure to heed medical advice put the lives of other residents across the nation’s border at risk.