Family of Late Dr. Adadevoh Angry with President Jonathan. See Why
The family members of the late Dr Ameyo Adadevoh have said they are not happy with President Goodluck Jonathan for failing to commiserate with the family more than two weeks after she died in the line of duty.
The late Adadevoh, who was the first doctor to be claimed by the virus in Nigeria, got infected by the index case, the Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer, at the First Consultants Hospital, Obalende, Lagos, where she attended to him and physically prevented him from leaving the hospital, at the risk of her own life.
Speaking with LEADERSHIP Weekend, the late Adadevoh’s uncle, Dr Andrew Omashogowa Mcintosh, who sobbed intermittently, said he was pained that the family had not received the right response from the president.
“Unfortunately, what is painful in my heart is because I have not seen the right response from our president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan. No right response from the federal government. I feel the pain in my heart when they now merely refer to Ameyo as the female dead doctor, a mere female dead doctor for that matter. What is wrong with this country? Instead of Jonathan coming to commiserate with us – look, if Ameyo had allowed Sawyer to run away, he would have disseminated Ebola to a lot of Nigerians and the spread would be out of control of the government. Sawyer would have thrown Nigeria into a pandemic situation and confusion. Federal Government officials now say she is a female dead doctor — no appreciation, no value; no, this should not be, not a female dead doctor,” he lamented.
The deceased’s uncle also berated the federal government for linking the late doctor’s death with the strike by doctors: “This is an occurrence unrelated with the doctors’ strike. Doctors’ strike is different from Ameyo’s death. They are not advising Jonathan enough. Doctors’ strike is a political problem; it is different from what Ameyo paid the supreme price for. This has to do with safety and security of Nigeria. She saved lives and it has nothing to do with politics. There is no reason whatsoever why President Jonathan should keep quiet about Ameyo’s case. He should be able to make a difference between these two things and come out to honour Ameyo. Ameyo needs to be honoured. A monument needs to be built to honour her. We should do the right thing for once.”
Mcintosh described the late Adadevoh as a no-nonsense person who was very passionate about, and knew her onions in, administering medical treatment to her patients. Her track record lends credence to this, he said, adding that from childhood she professed the love for medicine and nursed the dream of becoming a doctor to reality when she graduated from the School of Medicine, University of Lagos, and later went to England to specialise.
On the family front, the late Adadevoh was not found wanting. She was a pillar of support to both the immediate and extended family members.
Reminiscing on her lifetime, Mcintosh continued:
How the family is coping with her demise
Ameyo was a unifying family symbol. She was our jewel of inestimable value. She was always there for the family. For example, when I was very sick from a serious scrotal hernia, I was looking for a doctor. I know one Dr Chibu Tutu, a surgeon; he had a very good clinic at Surulere area of Lagos. But I didn’t know he had moved from the location I knew the clinic. I lost contact with him. It was Ameyo that helped me to track him down. She took me to the new location. It was Ameyo that saved me in that condition in 2008. In the family, it was always Ameyo that came to regulate and settle petty problems. Whenever there was misunderstanding in the family, Ameyo would make sure it did not degenerate and while she was doing this, she would not tell you what she was doing. You would only see the results and if you went and investigated, you discovered it was Ameyo’s intervention. As caring as she was to everybody, she advised me to go and be a lecturer in UNILAG but I told her no, that if I went I would not have the space of time to research, that academic work would choke me up — and I was right.
Last contact with her
When I had a patient with cardiac problem, like I normally do if I don’t have the facility to handle the case, I would refer it to her. On this particular case, I called her and said, Ameyo I have a patient with cardiac problem; can you handle it? It was then she told me she could not do anything because the hospital had been closed down; that it was in their hospital that the Ebola index case was identified. She did not tell me she was directly involved but she later sent a text message on where the patient could be treated.
Family facing stigmatisation over Ebola?
It is normal in this part of the world for people to stigmatise others because of the strange disease. It is a disease that was imported into this country. Ameyo would have survived it if she had the right treatment or got the right drugs on time to battle the disease. She was a doctor on duty to save the life of others.
Forgiving Patrick Sawyer after wife’s apology to Adadevoh’s family
I told you what Ameyo meant to the family. Her apology on behalf of her late husband can only be accepted when it comes genuinely from the heart. Personally, I can only accept it when it is not from the lips of the wife but from the heart. You can tell me you are sorry and may only be from the lips and it has no value but when it is from the heart it is a different ball game. There is a different feeling there. It is not a question of saying I am sorry. Did it come from her heart and spirit? Well, if comes from her heart and spirit, I accept her apology. Mind you I am speaking for myself.
What about calls for immortalizing the heroine?
All Nigerians, home and abroad, said Ameyo saved Nigeria from Ebola epidemic that would have been difficult to manage in a populous urban mega city like Lagos. Is that not a fact that she saved Nigeria from such epidemic that has no cure? That was what transpired. This man came from Liberia and nobody knew he had Ebola. He was diagnosed of Ebola in his country but still came with it to Nigeria. When Ameyo identified the case, he did not confess to Ameyo; he continued to lie to her. If he had told Ameyo she would have been more cautious, this idea of playing around with such dangerous blood would not have arisen. Again, when he saw that Ameyo had discovered that he had Ebola he wanted to run away and Ameyo courageously pinned him down. Why did she refuse to let Sawyer go? It was just to save lives of Nigerians. Jesus Christ says there is no greater love than for a man to give his own life for another. Which Ameyo did for Nigeria. If Ameyo has really saved Nigeria from Ebola epidemic outbreak, why will she not be recognized openly , why won’t our president Goodluck Jonathan voice it openly?
Family’s lamentation over Adadevoh’s sacrifice
Unfortunately, what is painful in my heart is because I have not seen the right response from our president Dr Goodluck Jonathan. No right response from the federal government. I feel the pain in my heart when they now merely refer to Ameyo as the female dead doctor, a mere female dead doctor for that matter. What is wrong with this country? Instead of Jonathan coming to commiserate with us… Look, if Ameyo had allowed Sawyer to run away, he would have disseminated Ebola to a lot of Nigerians and the spread would be out of control of government. Sawyer would have thrown Nigeria into a pandemic situation and confusion. Federal Government officials now say she is a female dead doctor — no appreciation, no value. No, this should not be — a female dead doctor.
Accuses FG of Linking doctors strike to Adadevoh’s death
This is an occurrence with a concomitant doctors’ strike. Doctors’ strike is different from Ameyo’s death. They are not advising Jonathan enough. Doctors’ strike is a political problem; it is different from what Ameyo paid the supreme price for. This has to do with safety and security of Nigeria. She saved lives and it has nothing to do with politics. There is no reason whatsoever why President Jonathan should keep quiet about Ameyo’s case. He should be able to make a difference between these two things and come out to honour Ameyo. Ameyo needs to be honoured. A monument needs to be built to honour her. We should do the right thing for once.
Coping with Ebola in Nigeria
The world is changing. We need to adjust to new conditions. And the conditions will keep changing. Starting from the weather, things are changing. There is climate change, there is a permanent change in climate and we may not know the climate as before. It brings about mutations — changes in genes, viruses, fungus and bacteria. Thus, virus you knew before may not be the ones you know now. That means that the drugs you have for them before may not be effective now. There is a strain of poliomyelitis recently discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo that is not responding to previous old good vaccines for polio. Everything is changing very fast. The world is in trouble.
On Ebola we must change our dirty habits and try to keep up frequently. Even in the human body there are four dirtiest parts of the body — that is, the hands, sole of the feet, mouth and anus. Nigerians should go into a new habit of frequently washing their hands. The very old habit of very warm embrace, particularly with somebody you have seen for a long time, should stop. All that rubbish of hugging and kissing in the streets must stop now. It must not happen now. If you greet, you keep a safe distance. If it comes from your heart it will be felt; that is enough. Then, Nigerians must stop these partying mentality where they cook un-hygienic food, not well cooked; and not only not well cooked, they are with inferior ingredients and food items. Nigerians must stop gathering people in multitude in the name of celebrations or funeral. Birthdays must stop now; we do not need all that rubbish. In this era of Ebola, the dead should bury the dead. Nothing like befitting burial.
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