LAGOS– FRONTLINE medical Doctor, Ameyo Stella Adadevoh, who saved the country from potential epidemic of the Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, yesterday, fell to the vise-grip of the disease which she contracted while attending to the index (first) Ebola case, the late American-Liberian, Patrick Sawyer.
Dr. Adadevoh was infected when she forcefully restricted Mr. Sawyer to his bed after he tried to remove the drip administered on him.
Observers said, yesterday, that her action probably saved many Nigerian lives because, if Sawyer had succeeded in forcing himself out of the hospital, it would have been difficult to trace those who had contact with him.
Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu announced the death, yesterday evening, of Dr Adadevoh.
‘With this unfortunate development the total number of Ebola Virus related deaths in Nigeria now stands at five. The other two patients currently under treatment in the isolation wards are stable and are being taken care of,’ he stated.
News of her death coincided with confirmation that the last three patients in the isolation centre may be discharged this week.
With her death, Nigeria has recorded five Ebola deaths, of which one was the index (first) case, Patrick Sawyer, one medical doctor, two nurses and the ECOWAS staff. Nigeria also has five Ebola survivors and three more expected to be discharged later this week.
Dr. Adadevoh, an experienced consultant physician and endocrinologist was Lead Consultant with First Consultants Medical Centre, Obalende, Lagos, came into the limelight shortly after the dramatic visit of Sawyer, and will be remembered as the first Nigerian confirmed to test positive to the Ebola virus. A holder of an MBBS from the University of Lagos, UNILAG, as well as a Diploma in Endocrinology from the University of London, the deceased practised in the United Kingdom and Nigeria for more than three decades.
She was a member of the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, the British-Nigerian Association and a Fellow of the National Postgraduate Medical College.
Anxiety had escalated over her health in the last one week which necessitated a group of concerned friends, families and associates to seek assistance from the United States of America.
The call which attracted attention of the public and government, however, did not yield the much expected result, as she succumbed to the cold hands of death. A source confirmed to Vanguard that spirited efforts to save her life proved abortive. It was gathered that she died Monday night.
According to the source, the late Dr Ameyo Adedavoh could not make it due to the serious contact she had with the late Sawyer.
“She tried to fight the disease. She fought a good fight. She saved Nigeria from imminent Ebola epidemic. She was the one that stopped late Sawyer when he became violent and was able to stop him. It is unfortunate we lost her. She is a heroine, even in death,” the source stated.
Meanwhile, three more patients may be discharged any moment from today. According to the source that pleaded anonymity, among the three people that made it include a woman who gave birth in the hospital (First Consultants) and later returned for vaccination.
“The conditions of the three patients left in the isolation centre remains stable. I cannot say when they will be released but all I can tell you is that they are in stable condition and will be released any time from now. It could be tomorrow or next. But they are in good health,” the source said.
Cure for Ebola from survivors’ antibodies?
Meanwhile, in continuation of the search for a possible cure for Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, the Lagos State government is exploring several options among which is the collection and examination of antibodies from the blood of the Ebola survivors.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, disclosed this yesterday, during a tour of the Ebola Isolation facility at Mainland Hospital, Yaba, Lagos.
He said: “We are exploring the possibilities of collecting and examining the antibodies possessed by the patients for possible prospects of a cure.
“The patients were admitted into the isolation centre based on the result of tests conducted on them. But after some treatment, they survived the virus, and the test conducted on them again showed negative.”
Idris said the survivors were treated based on their symptoms, but explained the need for more virologists in the fight against the deadly virus because EVD patients are not like other patients.
The activities within the isolation centre are very crucial, and one has to understand the protocol even if he or she has the expertise in managing the patients.
“For Ebola cases, there is specific training one has to go through, and one of the measures is that the safety of the people must be considered paramount. This is because the slightest mistake from any of the health officials can cause infection.”