There is always a price to pay whenever you stand for what is right in the midst of vehement opposition, especially when repeated instructions come from a higher authority! Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh clearly understood the repercussions if she ignores any order from a higher authority, but she wasn’t scared of its aftermath, she decided to take the bull by the horn and ensured that what could have led to a fatal outbreak of a horrendous disease was averted by refusing to release Patrick Sawyer, a top government official in the Liberian Ministry of Finance who was visiting Nigeria. A feat worth emulating by all and sundry!
Earlier before her refusal to release Sawyer, Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh had taken her time to diagnose Patrick Sawyer, who was reported as Nigeria’s first case of Ebola in Lagos, Nigeria by July 2014. The Late Patrick Sawyer had planned to attend a business conference in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria. No one would have expected a government official attending a conference to have such a disease, it was said that Patrick Sawyer claimed to have the normal Malaria which is common to Africa.
She displayed an unequivocal temerity by keeping Patrick Sawyer at the hospital despite receiving a request from the Liberian ambassador to discharge him. Even when there was non-availability of an Isolation Center for Patrick Sawyer, she went ahead and created an isolation area, she didn’t complain of the lack of personal protective equipment also. Her valorous attempt saved the entire Nation from what could have been referred to as a ‘holocaust’ infection.
During this challenging period, the Doctors in Nigeria were on strike, and imagine if she had not stood firm to defend the Nation by isolating Sawyer, there would have been a terrible disease outbreak in the Nation. Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh also ensured that vital information about the virus was disseminated to her co-workers, she also purchased personal protective equipment and immediately reached out to the relevant officials. Her report made the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to declare a National public health emergency which resulted into the Nigerian Ministry of Health setting up an Ebola Emergency Operations Center as soon as possible!
The World Health Organization finally declared Nigeria to be Ebola-free on October 20, 2014, which was a huge relief for many Nigerians who were actually scared of the deadly disease. Thanks to a courageous woman who won’t be forgotten easily by millions not only within Nigeria, but across the nooks and crannies of the World.
It was very touching when the news was all over the place that Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh finally has transitioned into eternal glory after conquering the Ebola Virus Disease whilst in quarantine, her passage on the 19 August 2014 in Lagos, Nigeria was heartbreaking! Due to the nature of the deadly disease, her body was cremated by the government in response to the containment of the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease.
Dr Stella Ameyo Adadevoh is a true hero! Her lasting legacy should be made known in various institutions across the globe, most especially in Nigeria, the Nation where she sacrificed her life in order to save the life of millions of people.
‘’ A strong woman stands up for herself, but a stronger woman stands up for everybody’’.