She was a doctor ─ and you can now add “nationalist” as well, because it now seems to run in the family. Having prevented Patrick Sawyer from leaving First Consultant Hospital, Lagos, Ameyo saved thousands of Nigerians from the scourge of Ebola, which is killing people like flies in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Nigerians have continued to pay tribute to the doctor, although this has also beamed the spotlight on the hazards of the profession in these trying times. It brings to mind the case of Dr. Sheik Umar Khan, the Sierra Leonean hero who was described as an “Ebola warrior”.
Having helped so many victims courageously, Khan found out seven days to his death that he too had caught the virus. Someone described him as dying “in seven terrible days”. Questions were asked why he was not given an experimental drug. By the time the World Health Organisation (WHO) decided it was ethically right to try the drug on humans “in a humanitarian crisis situation like Ebola”, Dr. Khan was gone.
In the case of Adadevoh, a doctor colleague at the First Consultant Hospital, Ladi Okubadejo, passionately appealed to the US government to urgently send whatever medication it had on Ebola virus to Nigeria.
“She treated Patrick Sawyer because she was patriotic only for her to be infected with the virus. I am appealing to the U.S. government to send whatever medication they have to Nigeria fast to save Adadevoh. She does not deserve to die. So, this is the reason for this appeal,” Okuboyejo told the media.
The minister of health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, also made an appeal to the United States to make the drug available. He met with the US ambassador to Nigeria. But the response was the same: the experimental drug, Zmapp, which was used to treat two of American citizens infected with the virus, was short in supply.
The drug makers said they had run out of stock. It was only being experimented on animals and had not gone through all the required processes and procedures to be certified fit for human use. Ironically, all the patients who have taken ZMapp so far are said to be responding to treatment, save for the Spanish missionary.
All said and done, the story would have been completely different if Dr. Adedavoh had not stood her ground in confining Sawyer ─ and Ebola ─ to the First Consultant Hospital. It would have spread around Nigeria and most certainly to other parts of the world.
Although she died young, at 58, Crowther and Macaulay would surely welcome her with open arms.