Ebola: First Consultant Hospital speaks on late Sawyer, Says Liberian Lied
The management of First Consultant Hospital, Obalende, Lagos State, has spoken on late Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer who brought the Ebola Virus Disease to Nigeria, saying it took necessary measures in line with international standards to prevent the spread of the virus.
In a press statement made available to our correspondent through e-mail, it said in spite of denial by Sawyer, who described himself as a Senior Diplomat from Liberia, adequate measures were taken, which included, isolating the patient, implementing barrier nursing and contacting the Lagos State Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of Health.
It said, “A 40-year-old gentleman came into the hospital with symptoms suggestive of malaria (fever, headache, extreme weakness) on Sunday, July 20, 2014. He was fully conscious and gave us his clinical history and told us he is a Senior Diplomat from Liberia. Laboratory investigations confirmed malaria whilst other test for HIV, Hepatitis B&C were negative. He was admitted and treatment commenced.
“However, due to the fact that he was not responding to treatment but rather was developing haemorrhagic symptoms we further questioned him. He denied having been in contact with any persons with EVD at home, in any hospital or at any burial.”
Having treated for malaria with no significant improvement, the management carried out tests for possible infectious haemorrhagic disease, especially Ebola, based on fact that he was from Liberia, which had recently witness Ebola outbreak.
It said, “We refused for him to be let out of the hospital in spite of intense pressure, as we were told that he was a senior ECOWAS official and had an important role to play at the ECOWAS convention in Calabar, Cross River State.
“The initial test results from LUTH laboratory indicated a signal of possible Ebola virus, but required confirmation.
“We then took the further step of reaching out to Senior Officials in the office of the Secretary of Health of the United States of America who promptly assisted us with contacts at the centres for Disease Control and World Health Organisation Regional Laboratory Centre in Senegal.
“Working jointly with the State, Federal Agencies and International Agencies, we were able to obtain confirmation of Ebola (Zaire strain), (WHO Regional Center Lab-Senegal/Redeemes lab/LUTH Laboratory). He afterwards died on July 25, 2014 at about 6.50am.
“All agencies were promptly notified and in consultation with WHO, Regional Ebola Virus Disease Centre in Conakry, Guinea and Best Practices, we commenced temporary shut down of the hospital with immediate evacuation of in-house patients.
“The appropriate professional removal of the body and its incineration under WHO guidelines, witnessed by all appropriate agencies was carried out.
“In keeping with WHO guidelines, the hospital is shut down briefly as full decontamination exercise is currently in progress.
“We hope that by our action of preventing this gentleman from being extracted from our hospital and traveling to Calabar we have been able to prevent the spread of Ebola Virus Disease in Nigeria.”