OMG! Where do I begin?
In case you missed it, Port Harcourt recorded her first Ebola fatality: a doctor who apparently willingly treated a person who he knew was infected with the Ebola virus on Friday 22/08. He passed away at a private hospital in the GRA.
Let’s appreciate doctors who put themselves in danger on a daily basis to minister healing to the ailing among us, taking care to ensure that in the case of contagious diseases proper quarantine procedures are observed. A special shout out to the ones who do this in remote parts of the world having taken hefty pay cuts.
Of course, this news broke after our Minister of Health (MoM) had declared on Tuesday 26/08 that Nigeria had succeeded in “containing the outbreak”. According to him, “… Nigeria has only one confirmed case of Ebola virus, a secondary contact of Mr. Sawyer. This is an indication that, thus far, the country has contained the outbreak.I wish to reassure Nigerians and, indeed, the global community that the government shall remain vigilant and will not relent as government continues to work with its partners to ensure that the disease is kept out of the country.”
Wait! How did Ebola get to Port Harcourt? By air of course, like any upwardly mobile virus. Let me explain.
Sawyer was received at the airport upon his arrival (on his “masters mission”) by employees of ECOWAS all of whom were quarantined once it was determined that Sawyer was stricken with the Ebola virus. A member of the ECOWAS welcoming party (The Diplomat) tested positive for the Ebola virus and apparently became symptomatic. He confided this fact in a female colleague (code for female colleague) who established contact on his behalf with The Doctor in Port Harcourt. I must say everyone needs a “female colleague” in his or her posse for times such as this. Anyway The Diplomat slipped out of quarantine in Lagos, hopped on a commercial flight (I have not read anywhere that he travelled by private jet) while symptomatic to Port Harcourt to meet with his “Angel of Mercy” and that’s how the virus got to Port Harcourt.
The Diplomat met up with The Doctor at their (I am assuming) predetermined rendezvous point (a hotel in Rumunokoro). Our “Angel of Mercy” (fully aware of what ailed The Diplomat) then proceeded to treat him in a room in the hotel (not at his hospital) taking “precaution to protect himself from infection”. The Diplomat after receiving treatment headed back to Lagos and The Doctor “poured bleach all over the room that [The Diplomat] slept in order to sanitise the place.”
The Doctor upon becoming symptomatic sought treatment at another hospital (obviously he knows not to crap where he eats) and didn’t let on that he had been in contact with the Ebola virus. He ultimately succumbed to the disease and his corpse was taken to the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH). Keep in mind that everyone was in the dark regarding exactly what ailed him, although it seems some suspected that he might not have been truthful regarding the circumstance of his illness.
I am not one to speak ill of the dead, but it seems that The Doctor is not of the number I appreciated earlier. Why do you ask? I think the reasons are obvious. He put an inordinate amount of people in danger for what exactly I don’t know. Did he receive payment from The Diplomat? If he did how much? Honestly I am at this point curious to his motivation.
News of The Doctor’s demise made it to Lagos to the Diplomat. Filled with remorse, he fessed up to the fact that he had gone to Port Harcourt to receive treatment from The Doctor. Our dear MoH in his official comments on the matter on Thursday 28/08 said The Diplomat (aka Port Harcourt’s “Patient Zero) was “Ebola free” (of course he has to abstain from having sex for at least 7 weeks, all current sexual partners please take note). Now I am really curious, did The Diplomat just happen to survive the virus (we are told this strain is not as fatal as others with a much lower fatality rate) or did The Doctor actually treat him with drugs specifically to cure Ebola? My money is on the former, seeing that The Doctor himself is now dead, unless of course he did have cure which unfortunately for him was single use (please reference every Yoruba Nollywood movie where someone asks a “Babalawo” (shaman) to prepare a bullet repelling charm and then asks for a demonstration before paying the agreed sum for said charm)
The Doctor’s wife is now ill and should have arrived (not by commercial flight) at the quarantine center in Lagos; hopefully she will survive this affliction brought upon her by her husband. The Doctor and his wife had at least one child; a 3-month-old baby whom I pray doesn’t become an orphan. I have read between 100 and 160 people have been identified as having had contact with The Doctor and are now in a quarantine center set up in Port Harcourt. Only God knows how many more people are out there who are fully symptomatic or are about to be. *Shudders*
Everyone has been knocking the Liberian government for allowing Sawyer escape quarantine or in the case of one particularly imaginative individual knocking Sawyer himself, accusing him of being a “an evil man with an evil intention and purpose” working with “some people…rich, powerful and well-connected people” who “sent him on the mission” a very simple mission, “spread the Ebola virus to Nigeria and to infect and kill as many people as possible with it.” I don’t have the energy to take up this individual either on his original op-ed published in Premium Times on 17/08 or on the subsequent ad for said article disguised as a tribute to the late Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh (whose death I hold our dear president responsible for) published in The Tribune on 24/08
I am on pins and needles waiting to read the next installment from the mind of our friend who shall not be named. How would he describe the main characters of this current drama? Meanwhile, as a minority I must say I am pleased that The Illuminati (an American “corporation” surely incorporated in Delaware) observe US law by applying EEO principles in their hiring process. (Yay for diversity!)
The irresponsibility displayed by all concerned disguised as all kinds of emotion is astounding:
Self preservation by The Diplomat in search of help, the “Samaritan” instinct exhibited by the “female colleague” helping out a friend in need, selflessness by The Doctor who agreed to see a seriously ill patient. Oh and the government (federal and state) no they don’t get let off the hook, they have been the most irresponsible of all.
Yes, the government deserves some credit for taking steps to mitigate the mess they allowed to happen; the president declared a state of emergency and released emergency funds to “strengthen steps to contain the virus such as … additional isolation centers, case management, contact tracing, deployment of additional personnel, screening at borders, and the procurement of required items and facilities”. LASG valiantly took on the task of maintaining a quarantine facility for persons who had come into contact directly/indirectly with Nigeria’s patient zero and also treating the symptoms of those who had become symptomatic as well as disposing of the corpses of those who succumbed to the ravages of the virus. However, because they didn’t keep their eye on the ball a situation, which could have been contained to Lagos, is now looking to become a potential disaster
So far two people are known to have slipped out of quarantine in Lagos. While the case of the nurse who fled to Enugu made the news (she was quickly discovered and brought back to Lagos with her plus one), The Diplomat who tested positive for the virus disappeared for at least 2 days and not a peep was heard from anyone. Could this be because neither the FG nor the LASG were aware he was missing? Horror, could it be they didn’t even know he was missing till he came forward and fessed up? *Gasp* Are there others?! Is this why the N1.9bn initially released as emergency funds to “contain the Ebola outbreak” has now been used to “procure more vehicles for working which have been ordered” (from whom, Stallion Group?) Presumably these vehicles will be filled with Nano Silver (or some other variant) and used to chase after the virus as it travels slowly (by biological weapon’s standard) on some crazy road trip across the country.
Tell me again how we are any different from Liberia in the handling of the Ebola outbreak in Nigeria? How has the government not failed (yet again) in her responsibility to protect the citizens of this country? How have we not (yet again) failed ourselves by electing incompetent individuals into office who in turn “reward” us for our irresponsibility by foisting their surrogates on us? 2015 is around the corner o, make the people wey remain shine their eye well well o!
Ms. Ajala sent in her piece from the United States where she resides.