Ameyo Adadevoh – First Ebola Spreader
A summary of Ameyo Adadevoh’s – a Nigerian Physician born on the 27th of October 1956. And first person tested positive for Ebola virus disease and was being treated.
Ameyo Adadevoh was commended for preventing a wider spread of Ebola virus in Nigeria by placing the first patient – Patrick Sawyer – in quarantine despite pressures from the Liberian government. However, on the 4th of August 2014, it was confirmed that she tested positive for Ebola virus disease and was being treated. Adadevoh survived for fifteen days before she finally gave up the ghost on the 19th of August 2014.
THE EARLY LIFE AND FAMILY OF AMEYO ADADEVOH
Ameyo Adadevoh was born in Lagos in October 1956 and spent most of her life there.
Her father and great-grandfather were both distinguished scientists and her father – Babatunde Kwaku Adadevoh – was a physician and former Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos. Ameyo was also the grand-niece of Nigeria’s first president, Nnamdi Azikiwe.
AMEYO ADADEVOH’S EDUCATION
Ameyo went to preschool at the Mainland Preparatory Primary School. After that, she spent two years in Boston, Massachusetts, before moving back to Lagos with her family. She attended Corona School, Yaba for her primary education and Queen’s School at Ibadan for her secondary school education.
AMEYO ADADEVOH’S MEDICAL EDUCATION AND CAREER
Dr. Adadevoh graduated from the University Of Lagos College Of Medicine with a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery. In 1981, she served her one-year mandatory training at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.
In 1983, Ameyo did her residency at Lagos University Teaching Hospital West African College of Physicians and Surgeons. Then she went to London to complete her study in Endocrinology at Hammersmith Hospital.
She spent twenty-one years at the First Consultants Medical Center in Lagos. There, she worked as the Lead Consultant, Physician, and Endocrinologist.
AMEYO’S WORK WITH SWINE FLU
Ameyo Adadevoh was the first to alert the Nigerian Ministry of Health when H1N1 – a human respiratory infection caused by influenza strain that started in pigs – spread in 2012.
HER WORK WITH EBOLA VIRUS
In July 2014, Dr. Adadevoh correctly diagnosed Patrick Sawyer – a Liberian – as Nigeria’s first case of Ebola at First Consultant Hospital in Lagos. Despite his insistence that he had a bad case of Malaria, Ameyo kept Sawyer in the hospital.
Despite the lack of protective equipment, the doctor created an isolation area with a wooden barricade outside her door. Ameyo’s heroic effort saved the country from getting infected with the disease.
At the time; Nigerian doctors were on strike, and that could have caused severe crises. Howbeit, the professionalism, and thorough medical examination carried out by Adadevoh was flawless.
She provided all staff with relevant information about the virus, obtained protective equipment and contacted the appropriate officials immediately. The outcome of her report made the Nigerian government declare a national public health emergency. Without wasting any time, an Ebola Emergency Operations Center was set up by the Federal Ministry of Health.
Finally, on the 20th of October 2014, the World Health Organization declared Nigeria to be Ebola-free.
AMEYO ADADEVOH’S MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
Ameyo Adadevoh was married to Afolabi Emmanuel Cardoso and gave birth to her only son Bankole Cardoso.
AMEYO’S DEATH AND LEGACY
On the 19 of August 2014, Dr. Adadevoh passed away in Lagos. Her body was decontaminated and cremated by the government in order to prevent the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease. Her family collected her ashes and held a private funeral ceremony on the 12th of September.
A non-profit health organization, Dr. Ameyo S. Adadevoh Health Trust (DRASA) was created in her honor. A movie titled “93 Days” was dedicated to her and it captured the story surrounding the treatment of Patrick Sawyer. The movie depicted the heroic deeds of Adadevoh and other medical staff at First Consultant Medical Center.
On the 27th of October 2018 – on her sixty-second birthday – Ameyo was honored with a Google Doodle posthumously.