On this day 2014:
Dr Stella Ameyo Adadevoh died in Lagos, thereby paying the ultimate price to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in Nigeria.
Born in Lagos in October 1956 to Prof. Babatunde Adadevoh, ex-vice-chancellor of the University of Lagos, Adadevoh’s great-grandfather was the Nigerian nationalist Herbert Macaulay (himself the grandson of Samuel Ajayi Crowther, the first African Anglican bishop).
Adadevoh was also the grand-niece of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe. She attended the famous Corona school Yabaand Queen’s school Ibadan. She got her medical degree at the University of Lagos before proceeding to obtain a fellowship with Hammersmith Hospital London.
She returned to Nigeria, married Afolabi Cardoso and lived most of her life in Lagos. She spent her last 21 years at the First Consultant Hospital in Obalende, Lagos Island, where she correctly diagnosed Liberian Patrick Sawyer, Nigeria’s index case of Ebola in July 2014.
The Liberian denied contact with an Ebola patient, even though his sister had died of the virus. Once Adadevoh suspected Sawyer might have Ebola, she quarantined him and contacted the authorities while she created a makeshift isolation centre for treatment.
Adadevoh kept Sawyer in the hospital despite his desperate attempts to leave. His claims that he had malaria fell on deaf ears. Adadevoh also turned down the Liberian Ambassador’s request to release Sawyer for a business conference in Calabar.
Through her action, Adadevoh played a key role in curbing the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in Nigeria. However, on 4 August 2014, it was confirmed that she had tested positive and was being treated. Adadevoh died on the afternoon of 19 August 2014.
Her body was decontaminated and cremated. Her family obtained the ashes and held a private funeral on September 12, 2014, in Lagos. She is survived by her husband and son. The Adadevoh Health Trust @drasatrust was founded in memory of the Nigerian heroine. May her soul continue to rest in peace.