“As a thoroughbred professional, Dr Adadevoh remained firm & clear headed. She was however intimidated by the threats of law suits and diplomatic rows…Yet, we all knew Dr Adadevoh. She was thorough, incisive, competent & compassionate.”
– Dr Benjamin Ohiaeri (CMD First Consultants Medical Centre) .
The headlines were bold, unequivocal and startling. The dreaded phenomenon in the sub region had glided silently and surely into the already burdened confines of the Giant of Africa… Rumours grew by their dozens, fear s multiplied and tension ate into the very foundation of our beings; Yes! EBOLA was here. After 20 recorded cases and 8 deaths since the ill-fated entry of Patrick Sawyer into Nigeria, the World Health Organization declared Nigeria Ebola-free on Monday – October 20th 2014, with country director Rui Gama Vaz referring to Nigeria’s containment of the virus as a “success story”.
Undoubtedly, this story has a plot director; the University of London trained Endocrinologist- Stella Adadevoh. In an era of loud outcries for female empowerment /clamour for Nigerian women to occupy the front row seats of decision making, Adadevoh’s swift response to an unanticipated situation saved Nigeria from being ruthlessly torn apart by EVD.
Having examined Patrick Sawyer when he was brought to the First Consultants Medical Centre, Adadevoh as Chief Physician called for an incident committee to ensure that the appropriate tests for Ebola were carried out. The patient (though arriving from Liberia) had denied any contact with any Ebola patient upon questioning. He panicked greatly when he was informed of the Ebola tests being run; yanking off his intravenous line, spilling blood all over the room and insisting on proceeding to Calabar for an ECOWAS Convention. Dr Adadevoh stood her ground, maintaining that keeping him within the confines of the hospital was necessary to prevent other unsuspecting Nigerians from a possible infection. Pressure mounted on our strong heroine as she began to receive “irate calls” from the Liberian Ambassador – Al Hassan Koike, who requested that Sawyer be released immediately. At this point, Dr Adadevoh had a choice. She could have released Sawyer and selfishly asked “wetin concern me?” as many Nigerians instinctively do when confronted with challenging “the powers that be”. Instead, she chose the highway and refused to release him.
In 36 hours, it was clear that Nigeria had “welcomed” her index Ebola case: It was a true relief that Sawyer had not been allowed to have physical contact with anyone else outside the hospital. However, this victory did not come without a huge price. FOUR members of staff at First Consultants Hospital eventually died from EVD – including Dr Adadevoh, who died on August 20th 2014 (exactly one month after her first contact with Sawyer) leaving behind – her husband, son and the entire nation she had gallantly protected. Gracefully, Dr Adadevoh departed mother earth saving Nigeria and comfortably wearing the shoes of a natural hero. She left us with a lasting example of the debt that all Nigerians owe Nigeria. Indeed, she gave us undiluted hope in our motherland…A hope that should be paid forward by all Nigerians (living and unborn) in centuries to come. Sleep on ma, Nigeria celebrates your deep sacrifice.
Ps : The above piece is an entry at the 2014 Young and cerebral essay competition, written by Olaoluwa Abagun, A foremost advocate for girlchild rights and founder of the “Girl pride circle” . Discover more about this organisation by clicking this link ======>(http://youtu.be/_yJ_2mBMvPA )
Only the best for my readers will do ! *winks*. I remain TheAmazon and my amazing quill loves you.