The late Senior Consultant/Endocrinologist of First Consultant Medical Centre, Lagos, Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh showed bravery in stopping late American-Liberian and index (first) Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, case Mr Patrick Sawyer from attending the ECOWAS meeting in Calabar, Cross River State and also took the initiative to promptly report his situation to the Lagos State Government, despite the latter’s uncooperative attitude after being confirmed to have the Ebola virus.
Speaking yesterday in Lagos, Commissioner for Health, Jide Idris said it was at the instance of the late medical doctor, who was a primary contact to Sawyer and substantially to her credit, that the moderate containment achieved of the deadly EVD in the country is owed.
“It was gathered that Sawyer insisted on being discharged from the hospital, apparently to attend an ECOWAS meeting in Calabar, Cross River State but Adadevoh, widely described as affectionate, insisted he stayed.
“She immediately contacted Lagos State Ministry of Health which took over the case. Had Adadevoh discharged Sawyer according to his wish, he would certainly have infected more Nigerians at the Calabar meeting, if he had managed to make it to the venue.
“He could have infected more people at the airport, on his local flight, in the hotel and at the meeting. This could have led to an unimaginable spread of the disease,” he noted.
Idris described Adedevoh’s death as unfortunate as she had contact with the Liberian victim, unaware of his status.
“Adadevoh’s prompt action saved Nigeria from a national disaster. She led the team that attended to the index case. Her doggedness and commitment to duty saw her personally reviewing the case even though the patient had earlier been seen by another doctor.
“No doubt, she and the other health workers are the heroes and heroines of the day. The Ministry of Health commiserates with their families, co-workers, friends and loved ones on these irreparable losses which was on the line of duty,” he remarked.
Also commending Dr Adadevoh’s bravery, minister of Health Onyebuchi Chukwu said if not for her actions, Nigeria would have had a wider spread of the virus.
“Regrettably she lost her life to Ebola virus. Of course she contacted the disease from the Liberian-American who exported the disease to Nigeria in the course of treating that patient,” Chukwu said.
“Indeed she had to physically restrain this infected person from escaping from the hospital when the latter attempted to do so, having been communicated that he was Ebola-positive.
“Indeed, if that index case had escaped hospital at that stage it would have spelt disaster for Nigeria as many more persons would have been very difficult to track; and could have become primary contacts.
“There is no doubt that Dr. Adadevoh was not only a dedicated, committed and competent doctor, but she showed rare courage, rare sense of duty, service and patriotism to her country,” the minister said.