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Remembering Dr Ameyo Adadevoh, The Woman Who Saved Nigerians From Ebola Virus

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Without Dr Stella Ameyo Adadevoh, Nigeria’s defeat of Ebola cannot be told. She is Nigeria’s Heroine,the doctor that prevented the virus from spreading in the country.

 

On July 20th 2014, Patrick Sawyer, Nigeria’s first Ebola patient left quarantine in Liberia and flew to Lagos. His plan was to attend a meeting of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

 

Sawyer collapsed at the airport in Lagos and taken to First Consultants Medical Centre (FCMC). This was the private hospital where Dr Adadevoh worked.

 

Under normal circumstances as an ECOWAS official, he should have been in a government hospital but the doctors at all government health facilities were on an indefinite strike as at the time.

Remembering Dr Ameyo Adadevoh, The Woman Who Saved Nigerians From Ebola Virus
Patrick Sawyer: TheCable

 

The first doctor at FCMC who first attended to Sawyer diagnosed him of malaria. But when Dr Adadevoh saw him during her ward round the following day, she suspected Ebola despite the initial malaria diagnosis. This was astute diagnosing as she and other Nigerian doctors had not previously encountered the deadly Ebola.

 

Dr Adadevoh questioned Mr Sawyer, asking if he’d had contact with anyone with Ebola and he denied. The Lagos State and Federal Ministry of Health  was contacted and got him tested for Ebola, despite his claims.

 

Remembering Dr Ameyo Adadevoh, The Woman Who Saved Nigerians From Ebola Virus
Dr Stella Ameyo Adadevoh : Twitter.

 

While waiting for the test results, the patient and other Liberian government officials began insisting that Dr Adadevoh discharge Mr Sawyer. This is so he could attend the ECOWAS conference but Adedavoh refused.

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They threatened to sue her for kidnapping and violating his human rights. They also accused her of holding him against his wish as the lab had not confirmed his diagnosis at the time. She continued to resist their relentless pressure. Dr Ameyo said that “for the greater public good” she would not release him.

 

She and her team did what they could with the limited resources and supplies they had in the hospital to treat him. They confirmed Sawyer’s diagnosis later, and he died at FCMC four days after his arrival.

 

Dr Adadevoh’s astute diagnosis of Mr Sawyer was the crucial element that helped Nigeria combat the virus. It resulted in the Nigerian government mobilising the necessary resources to halt the spread of Ebola.

 

Ameyo Adadevoh also died of Ebola disease on 19 August 2014 . Adadevoh was posthumously praised for preventing Sawyer from leaving the hospital at the time of diagnosis. This played a key role in curbing the spread of the virus in Nigeria.

 

Her actions allowed for a much more strategic containment of the virus across the country. The Nigerian government was able to trace all possible contacts from the index patient, Patrick Sawyer.

 

Today we remember this selfless Doctor and heroine for her role in stopping the dreaded Ebola Virus from ravaging Nigeria. With Coronavirus, will we have another Dr Ameyo Adadevoh who is ready to put their lives at risk to help combat the virus?

 

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