The House of Representatives has called for the immortalisation of the late Stella Adadevoh in recognition of her contributions to curbing the spread of Ebola Virus Disease in 2014.
Mrs Adadevoh was the lead consultant physician and endocrinologist at a private hospital in Lagos when an Ebola patient arrived the country from Liberia.
The medic and three of her colleagues contracted the dreaded virus while treating the patient, and ensuring he did not leave the hospital.
Their efforts helped stop the virus from spreading in heavily populated Lagos.
The call by the lawmakers followed a unanimous adoption of a motion moved by Akiolu Kayode (APC, Lagos) during plenary on Tuesday.
The lawmaker, while moving the motion, recalled that Ms Adadevoh risked her life in a bid to curb the spread of Ebola Virus Disease in the country by placing an infected Liberian-American diplomat, Patrick Sawyer, in quarantine.
He said the health sector was not prepared for the epidemic and this led to the death of Ms Adadevoh and members of her medical team, who had to make do with the resources available to them.
The lawmakers expressed appreciation for Ms Adadevoh’s bravery and professionalism which saved Nigeria from the impact of an uncontrolled outbreak of the virus and also promoted the swift, strategic and coordinated containment process of the virus.
They noted that the process led to the country being declared Ebola-free on October 20, 2014, by the World Health Organisation.
“The house is aware that Nigeria recorded a total of eight deaths out of the 20 Ebola cases, with 11 health workers being part of the victims, of which five died, including the proactive Dr Adadevoh who died on 19 August 2014.”
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The house expressed concern that failure to give due recognition to the heroic acts of the doctor and her team ”could dampen the spirit of patriotism among Nigerians, especially healthcare workers”.
It noted that a national college or one of the nation’s teaching hospitals be named after Ms Adadevoh as a way of immortalising her.
The lawmakers also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to confer a befitting Posthumous National Honour on her.
The lawmakers also called on the Ministry of Education and other related authorities to ensure the inclusion of Ms Adadevoh’s acts and other such national heroes in the country’s civic education curricula to encourage patriotism and nationalism in young ones.
The lawmakers further observed a minute silence in memory of the medical team and all Nigerians who lost their lives to the disease.
Many Nigerians have since the death of Ms Adedavoh called for her posthumous honour.
Notable amongst them is Dapo Olorunyomi, Publisher of PREMIUM TIMES, who recently called for a special honour for her bravery that warded off the dreaded Ebola epidemic from Nigeria.
Mr Olorunyomi spoke at the opening of the 2019 National Health Dialogue organised by the newspaper. He said the brave medic’s heroics should be emulated in the drive for Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria.
“Her heroic efforts prevented a major outbreak of Ebola in Nigeria and served as a catalyst for successful government action to contain its spread,” the publisher recalled.
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