Nigeria: Should We Just Wait For Them To Die?

By IndepthAfrica
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Aug 8th, 2014
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Nigeria: Should We Just Wait For Them To Die?

By John Okiyi Kalu

Gentlemen, I come to you with my head bowed in tears and agony.

Last December as we were organizing Igboville Enyimba medical retreat for Aba, one young nurse, full name: Obi Justina Ejelonu, whose picture is attached volunteered and joined us to make it a success. She was previously working at Otunba tunwase national paediatric centre Ijebu Ode in Ogun state and a graduate of Ebonyi State University Abakaliki.

Earlier this year, she relocated to Lagos to work at First Consultant Hospital Obalande owned by Dr Ohiaeri. But last week she posted the following at Igboville and disappeared:

“I never contacted his fluids.i checked his Vitals,helped him with his food.(he was too weak)…..i basically touched where his hands touched and dats d only contact.not directly wt his fluids.@a stage,he yanked off his infusion and we had blood everywhere on his bed…..but d ward maids took care of that and changed his linens with great precaution.everypatient is treated as high risk …..if it were airborne,by now wahala for dey.i still thank God.”

“Friends,up to our uniforms n all linens were burnt off. We r on surveillance n off work till 11th.

Our samples v long bn taken by WHO n so far we v been fine.

For me, kudos to my hospital managt cos we work proffessionally wt every patient considered risk cos thats d training.had it been its a hospital where they manage ordinar gloves lik Govt hospital n some janjaweed private hosp..:lol….wahala for dey o.i must also thank Lagos Govt….infact!Even fed govt sef….all been supportive.im good n so r the others in d hosp…..”

We have since confirmed that she was among those who attended to the Liberian Ebola patient, Mr Sawyerr, in Lagos. She is currently being quarantined at Mainland hospital Yaba Lagos. This clinic is immediately after Yaba Tech. She is still alive and spoke with me today on phone. But one of her fellow nurses died yesterday, as you might have read in Nigerian newspapers.

You can help save her life and that of about 40 others quarantined at Yaba, even though the situation looks hopeless. We have confirmed that most of those in quarantine with her are of Igbo origin. The hospital is owned by an Igbo man from Nkwerre in Imo State.

We simply just can’t fold our arms and wait for this deadly virus to take her and others away. Her only crime, alongside others, is doing her job of care for the weak and infirmed. It could have been you or me.

All I ask of you is that we launch a massive online campaign using the news and social media to demand that President Obama release the experimental drugs used in managing the American ebola victims to the Nigerian government immediately. Our health minister has already informed the public that they hae requested for the drugs from America. But we need to mount pressure using all the resources available to us as humans and Ndigbo. If we don’t do it, we will lose Justina and others. Obama already said he won’t release the drugs to Africans but given that American government is public opinion driven, we can make him change his mind if we try.

We want to launch twitter and facebook campaigns from tomorrow morning using the handle #GiveThemExperimentalDrugs to draw attention to their plight. It is inhuman to keep people and wait for them to die. Justina has already informed me that she and others tested positive to Ebola but I wish that you keep this bit of information private for legal and humanitarian reasons. Families are involved.

These brothers and sister had life and hope before this Liberian man flew into Nigeria. Should we just wait for them to die?

Please contact every Nigerian celebrity you know to join this campaign in addition to writing about this in your media and social network. Put pressure on every government official you know in Nigeria and America. Ask your facebook friends to join this campaign in a non political manner. Get friends and family members involved because we are all at risk if nothing is done.

Feel free to direct any further questions te me via this email or phone (08054271418)

Thank You and God help us.

John Okiyi Kalu

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