In remembrance of their heroics, a professor of immunology and infectious diseases from Harvard School of Public Health has paid homage to late Dr Ameyo Stella Adadevoh and other health workers who lost their lives battling Ebola virus, HIV/AIDS and Zika virus.
Addressing a large gathering at the maiden edition of Pro-Chancellor’s Distinguished Annual Lecture Series, which took place at J.F. Ade Ajayi Auditorium, University of Lagos (UNILAG) on 23 July 2018, Prof. Phyllis Kanki disclosed that Nigeria has had a long history of infectious disease outbreaks and epidemics.
Speaking on the lecture, “Responding To Nigeria’s Disease Outbreaks and Epidemics: Ebola, Zika and HIV”, the Harvard professor of medicine traced some of Nigeria’s virulent diseases to their roots.
“Our understanding of the human immune system is increasing with a complex array of cell types that in principles are responsible for containing foreign infectious disease pathogens.
“For instance, HIV treatment can be fully effective but operational research and policy is critical to its success,” she stressed.
It would be recalled that Ebola virus found its way to Lagos on 20 July 2014 through a diplomat from Liberia. Both Lagos and federal health ministries, however, activated the incident management system which successfully contained the virus spread within 93 days.
Praising the heroics of First Consultants Hospital, Kanki highlighted how the late Dr Adadevoh, some doctors and other care givers treated ‘patient zero’ which resulted to 10 fatalities in which many of them paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“During the 2014 West Africa Ebola virus epidemic, Nigeria suffered 19 cases but successfully contained its spread,” she said.
In attendance were Dr Wale Babalakin, pro chancellor, University of Lagos; Justice Olayinka Ayoola, former Justice of the Supreme Court; Prof. Isaac Adewole, minister of health; Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, vice-chancellor, UNILAG; Prof. Cecilia Igwilo, Fellow, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (FPSN) and Prof. Aina Bolajoko, dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos, lecturers, professors and hundreds of medical students.