It is another cheery news from First Consultants Medical Centre in Lagos, as the wife of a male Ebola survivor, Dr. Adewale Adejoro, has been delivered of a healthy Ebola-free baby girl.
According to the hospital’s Medical Director, Dr. Benjamin Ohiaeri, who made the birth announcement on Thursday, Mrs Opeyemi Adejoro put to bed at 7.24 pm on Tuesday, December 1, 2015.
“The baby girl, weighing 3kg at birth (its placenta 450g), a product of a term gestation was delivered following strict guidelines and recommendations from the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), USA, through the pre-natal and delivery stages,” Dr. Ohiaeri said.
An Ebola survivor and a resident staff of First Consultant Medical Centre, Dr. Ada Igonoh, gave birth to a baby girl on Tuesday afternoon.
The hospital said the baby girl, weighing nine pounds one ounce, was given birth to at the Greater El-Monte Community Hospital in California, USA.
Dr. Igonoh is the only female medical doctor to have survived the deadly disease.
Since her conception, Dr. Ada has been placed under medical surveillance to ensure that her child is Ebola-Free.
The baby, upon birth, has been certified Ebola-free.
To mark the wonderful news, the staff and friends of First Consultants Medical Centre are jubilant in celebration, as they welcome a new lease of life to the institution and in memory of fallen colleagues and survivors of the deadly disease.
The family and friends of late Ebola heroin, Dr Stella Adadevoh, have set up an initiative in her name called, the Dr Ameyo Stella Adadevoh Health Trust.
The initiative has been designed to help Nigeria to better prepare and plan ahead of any possible infectious disease outbreak in the country.
This is to mark the one year anniversary of the containment of the deadly virus in Nigeria.
Adadevoh was the lead doctor that initiated the diagnosis and restrained the index Ebola case from going into the larger public space and spreading the virus in Nigeria.
Many Nigerians have said that the best way to immortalize those who lost their lives to Ebola in Nigeria and celebrate the survivors is the institution of an effective and efficient disease control mechanisms in most parts of the country, thereby improving and advancing Nigeria’s healthcare system.
It was a trying time for Nigeria and her health system between July 20, 2014 when the Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer, imported the Ebola virus into the country and October 19 when the spread of the disease ended.
First Consultant Medical Center in Lagos, the hospital where the index case landed, bore the most impact.
Four of the hospital’s doctors and nurses, including late Dr. Stella Adadevoh, lost their lives defending the nation’s public health. The total number of deaths finally stood at eight while 12 other people who were infected survived.
The World Health Organisation declared Nigeria Ebola-free on October 20, 2014 and many worldwide have been trying to learn from Nigeria how it contained the deadly virus.
However, the WHO declaration stated that education and training on infectious diseases influence policies to ensure better quality healthcare for all patients.
It also highlighted the need to promote local research into causes and treatment of infectious diseases, which would assist in the prevention and control of infectious disease outbreaks and epidemics.
The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to give scholarships to the children of late Dr Ameyo Adadevoh for her sacrifice in preventing further spread of Ebola in the country back in 2014.
This followed a motion by Rep Akinade Taofeek, who also urged the federal government to consider a posthumous national honour for the late doctor in recognition of her heroic sacrifice.
Rep Taofeek also said that the “effort, courage and sacrifice of those persons who lost their lives in the course of treating Patrick Sawyer need to be acknowledged, including the management and other staff of the hospital.”
The lawmaker said that the sacrifice of Dr. Adadevoh saved the country from further spread of the deadly disease, which calls for a gesture from the federal government to her children.
93 Days is a movie centred on the true-life story of men and women who risked their lives and made sacrifices to save people from the consequences of the Ebola Virus outbreak.
It was a compelling human story of dedication, sacrifice, resilience and survival.
The movie demonstrated the bravery of the late Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh and her colleagues from their encounter with the late American-Liberian, Patrick Sawyer, who was the index case of the Ebola Virus.
The movie was, however, centred towards ensuring that the right medical procedures were in place to stop the spread of the disease in the country.
In celebrating the icons, the producers celebrated their potential to stand for what is right, serve selflessly and make a difference in their world.
According to the producers, 93 Days is definitely a must-watch with a perfect blend of both local and international casts to ensure excellent quality and international exposure was achieved.
Renowned American Theatre practitioner and Filmmaker, Pemon Rami also joined the team as producer.
“Our aim is to create a feature film that would resonate with many people across the world particularly in Nigeria and its sub-region.
“At its core, 93 Days is a tale of common humanity and just how much we can achieve when we stand united.”
The project was a co-production between Michel Angelo Production, Bolanle Austen-Peters Production (BAP) and Natives Film Works.
Bolanle Austen-Peters added, “We recognize that we have to tell our own stories, we also recognize that hardly ever are all the stars aligned to allow Nigeria and Nigerians shine on the international scene, our role is to celebrate our heroes and Nigeria on the global scene.”
93 Days was directed by Steve Gukas, and produced by Bolanle Austen-Peters, Dotun Olakunri and Steve Gukas.
Nigeria’s former Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu on Tuesday said the Federal Government has chosen a double barrel approach to continue the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease despite the declaration by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that Nigeria is Ebola free.
He noted that the government is also not relenting in finding a cure to the virus as the “Treatment Group for the Ebola Virus Disease have been working and collecting various claims from Nigerians, scientists and other alike and are trying to verify them.
“They have selected a number of claims that they think are worth researching into and they are beginning to develop the protocol for research”, he said.
He said Nigeria has joined the rest of the world under the auspices of the World Health Organisation to make its contribution to the fight against the disease on the global stage.
“So it is a double barrel approach; we are trying to do things within the country and we are also trying to collaborate with the international community because that is the only way to go.
“There must be a vaccine if the world is ever to hope that it can be able to combat it any moment and lay it to rest”, insisting that “if we cant get a vaccine, then we should have a specific drug developed that can be effective against the virus”.
He also reiterated the call by the Federal Government on Nigerians not to rest their oars in maintaining preventive measures against the contained Ebola Virus Disease.
“The battle is won but the war is not yet won and we must even now be on alert” he said, adding that “it is great to succeed but it is more difficult to stay on top of that success”.
He urged Nigerians to remain vigilant and urged them to continue to do “all the things we thought you; all the things we agreed we must do- enhanced personal hygiene, enhanced sanitation, alertness at ports of entry, seaports, land crosses, airports- and when people are sick endeavour to go to a proper hospital”, he said, adding that “we must continue to do all this”.
WHO representative, Rui Gama Vaz, who said it was a “spectacular success story”, added that “Nigeria is now free of Ebola.
“This is a spectacular success story. It shows that Ebola can be contained but we must be clear that we have only won a battle, the war will only end when West Africa is also declared free of Ebola”, he said.
The disease gained entry into the country in July when Liberian, Patrick Sawyer, came in on a diplomatic assignment.
The diplomat had fallen ill and was admitted at the First Consultants Hospital, Obalende, in Lagos.
There was screening of pupils for symptoms of Ebola Virus Disease in the nations capital as schools resumed on Monday for a new session after the long vacation.
Resumption had been delayed after the importation of the disease into the country by a Liberian-American, Mr Patrick Sawyer, who died of the disease in Lagos.
The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) had insisted that schools remained closed for fear that necessary safety measures have not been put in place by authorities to protect school children from the disease.
When Channels Television visited some Abuja schools, buckets, hand washing bowls and screening of pupils for high temperature were seen.
While some administrators decided to conduct these tests at the gates, others did so at the assembly ground.
Nigeria currently has no single case of Ebola, but both the government and health experts have continued to encourage citizens to keep proper hygiene.
Now that school children are resuming in some parts of the country, school administrators are expected to keep the needed vigilance for fear of another outbreak.
The Federal Government has issued a Certification of Decontamination to First Consultants Medical Centre, the hospital in Lagos which treated Nigeria’s Ebola index case, Patrick Sawyer. They have also been given the permission to re-open for business.
In two letters from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, both parties notified First Consultants that it had been cleared to reopen for business, having undergone three rounds of state-certified decontamination processes.
The Lagos State Government also commiserated with the hospital over the loss of its medical personnel, “who died in the line of duty” and expressed its appreciation for the altruistic role it played in containing and managing the Ebola virus, “thus preventing an epidemic.
“The Ministry is in receipt of a letter dated August 29, 2014, from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Ebola Emergency Centre, Lagos, informing that your facility has had three rounds of state-certified decontamination process.
“The Ministry acknowledges the role your facility played in alerting the State Government of the index case of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and appreciates your altruistic gestures in containing and managing this dealy virus, thus preventing an epidemic.
“We also commiserate with you on your members of staff who died in the line of duty.
“First Consultants has now been cleared to reopen for business. We hope that with this reopening, your facility will continue to maintain its high quality of standards”, the statement said
First Consultants was shut down and quarantined by the Federal Government on July 26 in line with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) protocol on the virus, following the death of Sawyer at the hospital on July 25.
The hospital lost a number of its health care workers to the Ebola outbreak, including its Senior Consultant Physician and Endocrinologist, Dr. A. S. Adadevoh.
The sister of the first victim of Ebola virus disease in Port Harcourt, Dr. Iyke Samuel Enemuo, Chinyere, who also tested positive to the virus, has been discharged from the isolation centre, Oduoha – Emohua.
Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Sampson Parker, disclosed this to journalists in Port Harcourt on Monday morning.
He said that Chinyere has been successfully managed and is now negative and immune to the Ebola virus.
A primary contact of index case, Mr. Patrick Sawyer and also an ECOWAS official, had evaded surveillance in the last week of July 2014 and travelled out of Lagos to Port Harcourt where he consulted with the late Dr. Enemuo and was allegedly secretly treated for some symptoms.
After four days, following a manhunt for him, the ECOWAS official returned to Lagos by which time he was found to be without symptoms.
However, Dr Enemuo died after some days, with investigation and laboratory analysis showing that he died from EVD which he must have contracted during the secluded treatment.
As a result, several contacts have been traced, registered and placed under surveillance, including his sister, Chinyere, who has now been successfully managed and discharged.
A Public Health Specialist, Dr. Doyin Odubanjo, believes that Nigerian authorities have done amazingly well with their meticulous approach in containing the spread of the Ebola virus.
He said this on Channels Television’s award winning breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, on Friday.
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Academy of Science, like many guests previously on the programme, while expressing confidence in the Nigerian approach, also provided information about the Ebola virus, its symptoms, spread and management.
However, same level of confidence could not be expressed of other West African countries where the outbreak has been more devastating, and this came to the fore during the conversation, with Odubanjo noting that the complexity of the Ebola virus makes it difficult for less sophisticated countries to handle.
There have also been fears, based on World Health Organisation’s warnings, that the Ebola virus could spread further in Port Harcourt, Rivers State and Odubanjo blamed this on the time lapse between the late Dr. Enemuo’s secluded contact with a carrier of the virus and his eventual death.
He urged all Nigerians to learn from the late Port Harcourt doctor and the ECOWAS official who both kept a case away from the health management authorities. He emphasized the need to disclose every suspected case of the Ebola as this would greatly save lives.
While emphasizing the need for the cooperation of every citizen for the efforts of the Government to be more successful, Dr Odubanjo urged the media to be more supportive of the fight against the virus by providing more information to citizens.
Having commended Channels Television for taking the lead in public enlightenment on the Ebola Virus Disease, he asked for more to be done, especially in places outside Lagos State.
He admitted that the late Port Harcourt doctor indeed acted unprofessionally, but corrected the impression that medical practitioners do not need much enlightenment. He stated that the situation called for more enlightenment for the health officials, as there was need to take some part of their training more seriously.
The Nigerian Government’s planned review of the schools resumption date also came to the fore. While appreciating the opinions expressed by some Nigerians that the closure of schools was not necessary when other gatherings were not being controlled, he also highlighted the view that Nigeria could not afford to ignore the peculiarity of gatherings of children.
In view of these, he advised that there has to be a middle ground that would be based on how much sensitization had been given to teachers, private school operators and other stakeholders in the education sector.
Odubanjo, who is also the 1st Vice Chairman of the Lagos Chapter of Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria, expressed confidence that Nigeria would remain on top of the situation, having done well so far in the Ebola fight.
He noted that Nigeria had not had access to the recently successful Ebola drug, ZMapp, and yet has the highest survival rate in the Ebola outbreak.
This, as well as the fact that all cases in Nigeria has been traced to the same single source – late Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer – meant that the situation in Nigeria was not one to be scared of.
Questions were, however, raised on how citizens would be able to identify the actual level of illness that a carrier of the virus would be in for the virus to be transmissible.
Odubanjo advised that because it could be hard to specify the actual level of illness, it would be safer to keep it at the point at which a carrier becomes symptomatic.
It has also been observed that a number of personnel in some public offices and health facilities attend to several persons wearing a single pair of gloves and thereby touching all with the same.
Odubanjo, frowned at the risk involved in this practice, which he referred to as an act out of ignorance. He noted that it was safer not to wear gloves at all and rather wash both hands after attending to each patient or customer, rather than using a single pair of gloves to touch several people.
He also urged Nigerians at all levels to shun the act of stigmatization, which he said was an unfortunate and highly unnecessary act. He insisted that an Ebola patient who has recovered is as safe as any other person who recovered from Malaria fever. They should not be avoided.
A Senior Assistant to the Lagos State Governor on Public Healthcare, Dr Yewande Adeshina, has reiterated the need for medical doctors to ensure that Ebola patients are quarantined as soon as they test positive to the virus.
On a Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, on Wednesday, Dr Yewande said that the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease had brought back panic.
She expressed fears that the outbreak had become a burden for medical doctors, who are treating patients with the fear that whatever ailment they had could be Ebola.
”People die with the first diagnosis of Ebola and it has become a burden because the minute Ebola is mentioned, we have to act as if it is an Ebola case.
”I really want to seek the opportunity to appeal to our health care providers, that we have given them training, standard operating procedures and all the information they need to be able to treat Ebola appropriately and make a different diagnosis and to refers patient to the Ebola treatment center.”
Dr Yewande stressed that all health workers needed to do was to keep the patient in their facilities and call the Ebola helplines for the rapid response team to come and access the patient on a more comprehensive level.
”And if the test came out positive they would evacuate and decontaminate the facilities but if it came out negative recommendation would be made and the patient life’s goes on,” she said.
Dr Yewande said that the panic that the Ebola virus outbreak was creating had made doctors refused to see patients.
“They rather refer patients to the treatment centre that is not proactive in treating patients. When patients die, they don’t have enough information to confirm the cause of the death and automatically they call it Ebola.”
She, however, said doctors do not need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to diagnosis Ebola, if there was a standard precaution in place .
“The issue is not the PPE . Precaution should be taken by doctors to wear their gloves and white coat before they touch a patient,” she said, emphasising that keeping patient in a separate room, would streamline the chances of getting infected.
Emphasising the need to ensure that patients suspected to have contracted the virus are quarantined and monitored, she said that the outbreak in Port Harcourt occurred because health workers lost contact with a patient under observation.
The government has continued to carry out measures to reduce the chances of the spread of the disease, with some group of people in the different local government, going to house and check people’s temperature.
“We are now at peace that we have been able to silent the Ebola outbreak, because we have not seen any new Lagos infection and suspect. If the man had not gone to Port Harcourt we would have been singing bye bye to Ebola by now,” she said.
There have been clamour for increase in the allowance of doctors handling cases of Ebola, but the medical doctor said that the jobs of the doctors were like that of soldiers under an oath.
”We are like soldiers going to war and when you are drafted as a doctor you have taken the hypocrisies oath, you are at war with disease. I don’t expect any special compensation for being a doctor because that is what I stand up for. Does soldier get special compensation when they go to war? Once you put on your uniform you go to war. You don’t start negotiating before you go to war. So a doctor is at war with Ebola because diseases are our enemies and we should not be negotiating over what we have taken an oath to do.”
She said that the issues of compensation was a hard debate, insisting that there were other allowances that they had. According to her, asking for extra payment specially was not necessary.
Following the confirmation that Ebola Virus had gained entrance into Rivers State and the placement of over 200 person under medical surveillance, the Governor Chibuike Ameachi, on Tuesday assured the citizens and the country that the government had the situation under control.
Appearing as a guest on Sunrise Daily, Governor Amaechi noted that his administration had started preparations, since Ebola was confirmed in Lagos, by disbursing about 300 million Naira for the purchase of materials and setting up a training programme for doctors.
He explained that the state did not act in time, compared to the situation in Lagos State, because the individual who introduced Ebola Virus to the State, Olu Ibukun Koye, had been unreachable for two days after arrival in Port Harcourt and he later travelled back to Lagos. Upon interrogation, he denied he had been in contact with other people.
“If he had said – yes, I was in Port Harcourt, yes – I saw the doctor”, the doctor and his family would have been placed under surveillance and the need to place over 200 under watch would have been non-existent, the governor explained.
The doctor who treated the EVD victim and his wife, had denied attending to him and had gone ahead to host several people for a child-naming ceremony. Also, when the doctor died, his wife allowed people from Anambra to pay her condolence visits.
Consequently, the residents of the state had been exposed for three weeks.
However, the “tracking and tracing has been wonderful”, Amaechi said, disclosing that the Federal and Lagos State governments, World Health Organisation (WHO), Doctors Without Borders (DWB) and other organisations have been of help.
The governor warned that no one should politicise the issue as those under watch had only been quarantined in their homes and not kept in isolation (at the medical centre).
He also encouraged residents to check themselves into the medical centres to be on the safe side.
Equipped Medical Facilities In The State
Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi also said the health centres in Rivers State is well equipped and was ready for any outbreak.
He said that the state has about 140-150 health centres, adding that one of health centres has been converted into an Ebola Centre in the state and doctors treating these Ebola victims live in the health centres, “Before Ebola we had provided quarters for medical workers in every health centre and not in Port Harcourt alone but in the rural areas of the state.
“We were prepared for any form of disease either Ebola or HIV he added”
Governor Amaechi stated that when he resumed office as governor of the state there were only 200 doctor but presently the state has about 600.
The governor mentioned that the state has benefited from the Lagos experience.