October 24, 2014

I THINK WE SHOULD BE PAYING MORE ATTENTION TO NIGERIAN KNOW-HOW: Ebola crisis: How Nigeria’s Dr Adadevoh fought the virus.

As Nigeria heaves a collective sigh of relief after being declared free of Ebola, one woman is being widely praised for helping to ensure a more devastating outbreak was avoided.

Dr Stella Ameyo Adadevoh raised a red flag when attending to a Liberian patient at the First Consultant Hospital in Nigeria’s main city, Lagos, in July.

Patrick Sawyer had just flown into the country, already sick – he should never have been allowed on the plane.

Nigeria had never had an Ebola case before so it was an impressive piece of diagnostic work.

Whilst caring for Mr Sawyer and protecting the nation from the virus, Dr Adadevoh and her colleagues were themselves at great risk.

“From the day the index patient arrived in Nigeria, my father and I were constantly asking my mother and making sure she was OK. We were aware of what could come,” says Bankole Cardoso, Dr Adadevoh’s only son. . . .

During those early days caring for Mr Sawyer whilst awaiting the result of the blood test, Dr Adadevo came under intense pressure to let him leave – a move that could have had catastrophic consequences.

“The Liberian ambassador started calling Dr Adadevo, putting pressure on her and the institution. He felt we were kidnapping the gentleman and said it was a denial of his fundamental rights and we could face further actions,” says Dr Ohiaeri, adding that the hospital trusted Dr Adadevo’s judgment.

It’s good that they did. As I say, maybe we should pay more attention to how they’ve done things. We seem to be a bit less serious about it.

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