The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, in April, publicized that the country was ready and had procured vaccines for Ebola. Quoting him from Premium Times of April 2nd, 2014, he said...
"Nigeria is ready because the Ministry has taken every precaution, including getting the vaccines and medicines in case there was any incident in Nigeria".
A claim, and publicized statement, which the widow of the index case of Ebola in Nigeria CLAIMED attracted her husband to Nigeria for better health care.
Nigerians believed that every step had been taken to ready the country just in case infected persons came into the country from our neighbouring countries.
Fast forward to Sunday July 20th, a burly 40-year-old Senior Diplomat from Liberia had just flown in from nearby Monrovia, having cleared Airport screening for hidden weapons, hazardous materials, illegal substances and WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION. His name: Patrick Sawyer, with the might of ECOWAS bureaucracy around him, armed with a passport of the United States of America, and having powerful Government connections just a phone-call away.
What Airport security overlooked or was ill-equipped to detect, however, was a more potent national threat – a scourge of mass destruction and a terminally symptomatic agent for Ebola with a premeditated ambition to spread the virus!
Intended point of Viral dissemination? Calabar - the leading tourism city of Nigeria - but The Fates said 'No' and he landed at First Consultant Hospital, Obalende, Lagos. But, while the Doctors and Nurses there gave him medical care for his disease, he gave them medical disease for their care!
In comes a Doctor, the best of them all, whose professionalism and doggedness saw her personally reviewing the case even though the patient had earlier been clerked by another doctor. A Doctor with capabilities and insight required to take the measures needed to firewall Mr. Sawyer and limit the epidemic that he would have dispensed - Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh of blessed memory!
The World Class Medical expert's sixth sense struck upon the possibility that Mr. Sawyer was EVD-positive, despite the latter's denial of having any contact with Ebola, and she immediately isolated/quarantined the patient, commenced barrier nursing and simultaneously contacted the Lagos State Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of Health to enquire where further laboratory tests could be carried out. In spite of intense pressure, she refused for him to be let out of the hospital. Talk about a professional of exceptional thoughtfulness, irreverence and selflessness!
Her suspicions proved correct. But, though, she was able to contain the viral fire into a few sparks which will hopefully be quelled soon, it was too late. She’d already had fatal exposure to the virus. And, so, the fight for her own life started and our dear Mr Labaran Maku couldn't produce the vaccine!
It's saddening that a great woman who fought selflessly to save the lives of Nigerians had to fight so hard for her own life before she passed on.
The most harrowing part is that, perhaps, her loved ones were unable to go hold her hands, encourage her, soothe her pains, pray for her and even bid her farewell. She was isolated and at the mercy of her carers and because of the circumstances of her passing, there will be no grave to memorialize her nor will there be a white flag above her grave.
But Ameyo, the Great-Grand Daughter of Herbert Macaulay lived a good life, made an impact on humanity, never let herself or the Country down, so she lives on after her death!
RIP, Dear Heroine!