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Ebola Victim Justina Ejelonu’s Father Decries Employer’s Alleged Neglect of Family

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Obi Justina Ejelonu BellaNaija

Justina Ejelonu

Sam Ejelonu, the father of Justina, the first Nigerian nurse, who died of Ebola virus disease, has decried alleged inhuman treatment to his family by his daughter’s employer.

Justina, who was employed by the First Consultants Medical Centre, Lagos, died on August 12th, following her contact with the index Ebola case in Nigeria, the late Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian.

Ejelonu made the allegation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Owerri.

He said that since the death of Justina, no member of staff of the hospital had visited the family.

NAN reports that Justina contracted Ebola virus on her first day at work at the hospital, where the late Sawyer was rushed to, on July 20th.

Sawyer died four days later at the hospital. Justina was said to be pregnant as at the time she was infected with the virus while attending to Sawyer.

Ejelonu said, “I heard of my daughter’s predicament leading to her untimely death, in the news.

“No person from the hospital or Imo State Government has visited to sympathise with my family on her death. He told NAN that he only received calls from two people who probably called from the hospital to express their sympathy.

“The most painful report to the family is that Imo Government wants to immortalise Justina for her patriotism.

“No contact was made with the family from the government’s side,’’ he said.

Ejelonu described the treatment from Justina’s employer as unfair.

“My late daughter just finished national service when she secured the nursing job.

“Even, if it was one day she worked, the record has it that she was in the employment of an organisation.

“If my daughter was a house servant to somebody, will it not be honourable for people to visit the family and condole with the parents over her death?

“I must be sincere with you, I do not want anybody to bring my mind back to Justina’s case.

“The hospital and the government are being managed by human beings; the people know what is fair and just,” he said.

He said that the death of his daughter was traumatic, adding that the family members had yet to recover from the trauma.

However, when NAN visited the hospital, Simon Tashie, the hospital’s Director of Administration, said that the hospital had identified with Justina’s family.

“We are in touch with the family. We also sent a delegation to attend her funeral ceremony at the Church of Advent, Anglican Communion, Umubo, Ubonukam Onicha, Ezinihitte Mbaise, Imo State, on November 1st,’’ he said.

Also, Florence Emeribe, the Director of Nursing Services at the hospital, said that Benjamin Ohiaeri, the hospital’s Managing Director, was aware of the complaint.

Emeribe, who was Justina’s supervisor, said that she was not in a position to comment on the matter.

According to her, it is only the managing director that can respond.

“The managing director has been told of your mission to this hospital. He is busy right now and will get back to you as soon as possible,” she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in May 1976 to gather and distribute news on Nigeria and cover events of interest to Nigeria at the international level for the benefit of the Nigerian Media and the Public.

8 Comments

  1. ayox

    November 29, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    If dis is true its really sad,everything is not about money,d hospital shld send representatives 2 d nurse houz 2 sympathise with them n even give dem sumtin. Later GEJ will say he chased ebola out of nigeria, shldnt he attend to all d victims dat died serving nigeria.

  2. Shola Pacheco

    November 29, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Really sad! It was like she never existed… Her family needs a good lawyer, the Liberian government need to pay a considerable amount to her family as compensation…

    May her soul continue to rest in peace.

  3. mujer

    November 29, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    What is the clinic expected to do when they can barely survive the event? What if it was a mass catastrophe in a hospital with 1000 personnel. Will the hospital management have to visit all the family members? Also, she was a new recruit on her first day, not a veteran. In this regards, truthfully, the hospital was yet to establish a relationship with her. This is about money, eventually. Because I don’t think they are really interested in the medical director coming over to say ndo.

    • Ada

      November 30, 2014 at 7:30 am

      I beg your pardon? So because she worked for just one day her life isn’t as important? How callous of you. It doesn’t matter if she worked there for an hour so far as she was their employee. The hospital is by all means supposed to show her family respect by visiting and giving some little money. It is not her fault that she died, goodness I don”t know how some of you reason to be honest. Like you keep your hearts some place else and just talk.

    • Anon

      November 30, 2014 at 8:49 pm

      The hospital was also dealing with its losses. Other members of staff were in quarantine and a whole lot was going down at the hospital. This is a situation they had never dealt with and it would be unfair to state conclusively that a slip like this was because the nurse was new on their service.

  4. Ada

    November 30, 2014 at 7:34 am

    @mujer I beg your pardon? So because she worked for just one day her life isn’t as important? How callous of you. It doesn’t matter if she worked there for an hour so far as she was their employee. The hospital is by all means supposed to show her family respect by visiting and giving some little money, tho money isnt the issue here. It is not her fault that she died, goodness I don”t know how some of you reason to be honest. Like you keep your hearts some place else and just talk. And NO, it’s not always about money. A man just lost his daughter whose life was just starting, it hurts like hell. No it is not always about money, the man wants some respect and consideration and to be treated as if his daughter’s life mattered. It is dignifying for the hospital to come pay homage. It is so insensitive to think it is because he needs money he’s asking for the hospital to come over. Mehn. That mentality is not a good one.

  5. Honeycrown

    December 1, 2014 at 5:36 am

    If this is true, a representative from the hospital could have at least visited the family. This should be a normal process in an organization that is supposed to be dedicated to saving human lives.

  6. dame

    December 1, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Did you all not read where the hospital said they sent a delegation to her funeral ? what else is expected of them truthfully ? Even if the paid terminal benefits and all…it would still not amount to nothing ! And the hospital is still counting their losses also

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