Ode to Adadevoh
Early this April, Lagos State Health Ministry and Commissioner, Dr. Jide Idris, appealed to all health practitioners to watch out for patients presenting symptoms of Ebola so that Nigeria would be delivered from the endemic disease already spreading through in Guinea.
The burly patient that she admitted on Sunday, July 20 had just flown in from nearby Monrovia, having cleared Airport screening for hidden weapons, hazardous materials, and illegal substances, with the might of ECOWAS bureaucracy beside him, a passport of the United States of America with him, and powerful Government connections behind him.
What Airport security was ill-equipped to detect, however, was an even deadlier national threat – the virulent etiological agent for Ebola! Hence, in his medical history, he conveniently ignored his recent contact with a case of Ebola, visits to any person infected with the virus in a hospital, or participation in a funeral of a person who died of the disease. All three criteria, it turns out, precisely described Mr. Patrick Sawyer’s status vis-a-vis the late sister, Princess,whom he lost to Ebola, on 8th July.
In Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh, an epidemic found its match that effectively stopped its incurable match of death. Obligations to the Hippocratic Oath of her noble profession compelled the Senior Consultant Physician, First Consultant Medical Center, to do no harm but only good. Her august patient had just landed from endemic Liberia with distinctive symptoms; therefore, she summoned uncommon courage, ignored his denials, queried Ebola nonetheless, arranged for blood analysis, and skilfully turned his hospitalization into quarantine! By doing this, she stopped an Epidemic and saved a nation from a deadly virus.
As soon as his test from LUTH came back presumptive positive, she promptly alerted Federal and Lagos State Health Ministries. In so doing, she identified the index Ebola patient on Nigerian soil, stopped nationwide spread of the virus, and saved a nation from an epidemic!
While she gave him medical care for his disease, he gave her medical disease for her care! But she patiently absorbed the impact of the infection that she contracted unwittingly without spreading it. In so doing, she saved her nation and averted a looming Epidemic that was not!
A private clinic that relies on corporate retainership and patronage of the affluent to get by, should not mess around with a VIP patient; but that, in a nutshell, is all she did by defying the petulance of a Liberian ECOWAS delegation that pressured her to discharge Mr. Sawyer to attend the “8th Joint Retreat of ECOWAS Institutions, Permanent Representatives and National Units”. By denying him medical clearance to proceed to Calabar, she saved Nigeria from an imminent Epidemic….
…Yes, with her very life, she made a supreme sacrifice but saved a nation from ominous Ebola epidemic!
If ever a case or nominee for posthumous National honour is needed, case closed!
Much respect, many thanks, and God bless the memory of Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh!
- Dr. Okungbowa is tenured professor in Florida. Culled from onlinenigeria.com