Nigeria’s history will not be complete without talking about the outbreak of Ebola virus in Nigeria and the strong team who did all they could in curbing the virus. Late Ameyo Stella Adadevoh will also not be forgotten in the nation’s history as she died during the cause of her duty and while trying to save lives of many Nigerians.
It could be recalled that in 2014, she identified a patient who is a Liberian national, Patrick Sawyer, as a carrier of the deadly Ebola virus disease. on discovering, she ensured that the patient did not have contact with anyone outside the walls of First Consultant Hospital in Obalende, Lagos. She played a part in curbing what would have been a national disaster.
In July 2014, late Adadevoh diagnosed Sawyer as Nigeria’s first case of Ebola carrier. Despite Sawyer’s insistence of have malaria, she kept him in the hospital under close supervision which deprived him from attending a business conference in Calabar. Adadevoh also failed to release Sawyer despite receiving a note from a Liberian ambassador to free their citizen.
As Sawyer’s health condition worsened, late Adadevoh was said to have created an isolation area in the hospital and gave strict instruction on who and who should be allowed into Sawyer’s room before and after it was confirmed that the elderly man was infected with the Ebola virus.
Her professionalism and thorough medical examination was impeccable. Adadevoh also provided staffs with relevant information about the virus and procured protective gears. As a result of her report, the government declared a national public health emergency and the Nigerian ministry of health set up an Ebola emergency operations center. On October 20, 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Nigeria to have the dreaded Ebola virus.
Late Ameyo Adadevoh was married to Afolabi Emmanuel Cardoso and survived by her only child, Bankole. The heroine tested positive to Ebola on August 4, 2014, and died on August 19, 2014, at the age of 57.
Born in October 1956, late Adadevoh spent most of her life in Lagos. She was the daughter and great-granddaughter of Babatunde Kwaku Adadevoh (a Ghanaian) and Herbert Samuel Macaulay. Her father was a physician and ex-vice chancellor at the University of Lagos (Unilag). Her great-grandfather Herbert Macaulay also worked at First Consultant Hospital where statue of him was erected. She was also a niece to Nnamdi Azikiwe.
In 1961 to 1962, Adadevoh attended Mainland Preparatory School in Yaba, spent two years in Boston, Massachusetts before moving back to Nigeria. In 1964-1968 she attended Corona School, Yaba, and completed her secondary education in 1974 at Queen’s School in Ibadan, Oyo state.
She went ahead to earn her bachelor’s degree in medicine/surgery at Unilag, observed her one year housemanship at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) in 1981. Adadevoh went ahead to complete her fellowship in endocrinology at Hammersmith Hospital in London and spent 21 years of her life at First Consultant Medical Center in Lagos, where she worked as the lead consultant physician and endocrinologist.
In appreciation of scarifice, the Nigerian movie industry decided to shoot a movie in her honour. The movie, 93 Days, was dedicated to late Ameyo Stella Adadevoh as it tells a story of her encounter with Patrick Sawyer and other dedicated staffs of the hospital who fought tirelessly to curb the deadly virus.
Amongst her many awards and achievements, Dr Ameyo Adadevoh Health Trust (DRASA) a non-profit organisation was founded in her honour.
RIP to a rare gem!
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