By Babs Iwalewa
It’s been almost a year that Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh, a senior consultant endocrinologist at the First Consultant Hospital in Lagos breathed her last. The circumstances of her death were tragic-comical to say the least. She had “laid down her life so that we may live” so to speak.
Whenever the story of the outbreak of the ebola scourge in Nigeria is told, the story of the late medical doctor is also sure to be told. The story of Dr. Adadevoh was one that was very uncommon in this clime. The late doctor prevented the spread of ebola in Nigeria and paid with her life. It was she who oversaw the treatment of the late Patrick Sawyer, the infected Liberian who against all odds flew into Lagos with the aim of connecting a flight to Calabar for a conference before he suddenly took ill upon his arrival at the airport in Nigeria. It was Dr. Adadevoh’s dedication and commitment to professional ethics that made her “detain” and quarantine the infected patient in the hospital, thus preventing him from having further contacts with people. Had Patrick Sawyer been “released” by the doctor, the damage to have been done is better said than imagined. It was during the course of this patriotic duty that she contracted the deadly virus, with about five other nurses and paramedics that came in contact with Patrick Sawyer at that time.
Her uncommon courage, dedication and forbearance, that made her a martyr needs to be recognized by the federal government and not only the Lagos state government. Though the outgone Fashola administration needs to be commended for its efforts in managing the health crises at that time, more still can be done. Consequently the Federal and Lagos state government should use the opportunity of the first year remembrance of her death, to take stock and evaluate the efforts in managing the ebola virus so far, and to also honour her post humosly. Such honour should be one that doesn’t erase her memory from our national consciousness.
About Babs Iwalewa:
You can connect with him on Twitter via @babsiwalewa.
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