“I will keep them from harm and injustice.” A quote from the Hippocratic Oath.
Although referring specifically to the care of patients, that singular line exemplifies the altruistic nature of health care professionals like Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh, who laid down her life for the greater good.
According to several accounts, Adadevoh, who was the lead consultant physician at First Consultants Medical Centre in Obalende, prevented Ebola-infected patient, Patrick Sawyer from leaving the hospital, after he ripped his IV from his arm. It was while trying to keep the patient confined, that Adadevoh reportedly got infected.
Many have said that had she not prevented Sawyer from leaving the hospital, he would probably have infected many more people.
Her selfless actions, along with other health care workers, kept us from the harm of potentially being at a higher risk of contracting the disease, and protected us from the injustice of the consequences of Sawyer’s presence in our country.
Today, we honour not just Adadevoh but also all the other brave doctors and nurses who have died while trying to contain the spread of Ebola.
We remember Obi Justina Ejelonu, who also contracted the virus while administering treatment to Sawyer; Miguel Pajares, the Spanish missionary priest who contracted Ebola while working in Liberia; Sheik Umar Khan, Sierra Leone’s top doctor who treated over 100 Ebola patients, and everyone else who has died while trying to save Ebola patients.
We also celebrate those healthcare practitioners who continue to care for those afflicted by the deadly disease, working tirelessly to make them whole again and bring them back to life.
As the world clamours for the ultimate Ebola panacea, let us not forget the valuable lessons that Adadevoh and other healthcare Ebola casualties have taught us: Selflessness is the ultimate panacea for healing the wounds that afflict humanity. Being our brother and sister’s keeper is ultimately what saves lives.