ebola

L to R: MSH staffer Niniola Soleye and her aunt, Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh

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.

MSH President & CEO Jonathan D. Quick says "investment in health systems, including epidemic preparedness, is the only way to ensure rapid containment of the next disease outbreak," in today's The New York Times.

"Developing strong health systems will ensure the collective well-being for all over the long term," said MSH President & CEO Jonathan D. Quick in a Letter to the Editor, published October 3, 2014, in The New York Times.

In the letter responding to Nicholas Kristof's Sept. 25 column, “The Ebola Fiasco”, Dr. Quick wrote:

Nicholas Kristof rightly states that early action on Ebola could have saved lives and money. The early investment should have been in bolstering the health systems for the long term—not as a quick fix after Ebola had re-emerged. ...

Steady international and national investment in health systems, including epidemic preparedness, is the only way to ensure rapid containment of the next disease outbreak—which surely will come—and to avoid the human and financial cost of an epidemic out of control.

Read Dr. Quick's Letter to the Editor in today's The New York Times (print edition or online).

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