My aunt, Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh, identified and contained the first case of Ebola in Nigeria. She paid with her life because the health system was not ready to deal with Ebola. The system has since caught up, and is today a model for other countries. But the loss of such a gifted doctor and family anchor is incalculable.
Ebola arrived in Nigeria at a time when doctors at all federal government hospitals were on a labor strike (my aunt worked in a private hospital). After ongoing negotiations with the government failed to meet their demands, the doctors – desperate to see significant changes in the health system and seeking improved salaries, positions, and titles – reached their breaking point. So they went on an indefinite strike.
Patrick Sawyer – the index case – left quarantine in Liberia and collapsed at the airport in Lagos, Nigeria. He was trying to travel to a meeting of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Calabar, Nigeria.