PHOTO CAPTION: Patrick Sawyer –
For the first time, First Consultant Medical Centre has come out to explain the numerous challenges it had to deal with while handling Ebola index case of the now late Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer.
The hospital’s explanation is coming at a time the World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged Nigeria to share her success story on Ebola for other countries battling with virus to learn how to tackle it.
Speaking Friday during the visit to the hospital by WHO officials in Obalende, Lagos, the Managing Director, First Consultant Medical Centre, Dr Benjamin Ohiaeri, told the health officials and journalists that the hospital faced intense pressures from Liberia government represented by the Liberian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Al-Hassan Conteh, to release Sawyer, even while the Liberian-American was undergoing diagnosis for Ebola virus disease.
Ohiaeri explained that the Liberian envoy threatened to sue the hospital if his desire and that of Sawyer were not met in a jiffy.
Ohiaeri, who was surrounded by staff of the hospital, including the Ebola survivors who work in the hospital, added that the Liberian Ambassador to Nigeria threatened to stir up diplomatic row between Nigeria and Liberia if the late Sawyer was not released.
The MD explained that the hospital decided to ignore the threat for the “public good”, as there were convincing signals that the late Sawyer had Ebola disease, even before various test results that confirmed the suspicion.
The consultant gynaecologist added that the hospital had to invite her lawyers to draft her resolution, after several in-house incidence group meetings, which convinced the hospital that attempt to release Sawyer would not be in the best interest of the Nigerian society.
He added that the disease had claimed the lives of four staff of the hospital out of the seven persons that died from the disease nationwide.
WHO Communication Officer, Ms Samantha Bolton, who commended the hospital for her effort in assisting Nigeria to curtail the virus, stated that the Nigerian success would go a long a way in assisting other countries currently battling with the virus to succeed.
She added that with presence of the virus in Africa and other parts of the world, “no one is really safe.”
UK-based virologist, Dr. Simon Mardel, stated that the Nigerian Ebola experience could repeat itself in any part of the world. Describing the Nigeria Isolation Centre at Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH), Lagos, as “one of the best in the world”, he called on other countries to learn from the Nigerian experience of giving patients best available treatment. READ MORE OF THIS