By Chioma Obinna & Gabriel Olawale
First Consultants Medical Centre, yesterday, indicted the Liberian Ambassador to Nigeria for complicity in the first Ebola case in Nigeria, saying the Ambassador put the hospital under pressure to release Sawyer against the wish of its management.
The Hospital also alleged that the Ambassador threatened to institute a lawsuit against it if Sawyer was not released.
Briefing journalists for the first time since its reopening in Lagos, the Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Benjamin Ohiaeri, said:”The ambassador said if we continued to keep him (Sawyer), it would be tantamount to kidnap and abuse of human right. He said if we did not release him, we would be subjecting our hospital to international diplomatic row and we should not rule out the possibility of law suit.”
Ohiaeri said amid pressure to discharge Sawyer, the management immediately conveyed a committee of three who concluded that although Sawyer has the right to sign against medical advice, they would not let him go for public good.
Regretting the loss of his four staff, two doctors and two nurses to the outbreak, he grieved that the entire hospital was bereaved. “As if that was not bad enough for us, the Liberian Ambassador to Nigeria started to put pressure on us that Mr Sawyer had his fundamental human right that he wanted to leave the hospital and he should be allowed to leave .”
“In other words, we have a provision within the law that allows the person to sign and leave the hospital. Meanwhile, there is a superior provision within that law which is that you can decline the patient for public good.”In order to protect ourselves as an institution, we called in our lawyer who drafted for us a resolution, stating that we were not going to let Sawyer out because it will not be in the public good to let him out.”
He also said one of their greatest challenges with Sawyer Ebola virus saga was when he insisted he must be discharged and unleashed his bio-terror on the staff.
Within that time Mr. Sawyer insisted that he wanted to exercise his right to leave the hospital and sign against medical advice and the executive committee of the hospital made up of three of us, myself, late Adadevoh and Dr. Abaniwo, Director clinical services, deliberately agreed that base on the confidence in our legendry physician, Dr. Adadevoh, we will not fall for it.
“Because we did not let him go, Mr. Sawyer unleashed his bio terror on the staff of the hospital. He knew he had the disease, he was angry to the extent that he released his blood to contaminate our people as they came in.
“We lost four of our key staff who included, Dr. Adadevoh, she worked here for 21 years, Dr. Amos Abaniwo, our Chief consultant Anesthesiology and Director of clinical service, had been with us for 16 years. Dr. Adadevoh died leaving the husband and a son, Dr. Abaniwo died leaving his wife and three kids, the third person that died was a nurse Ejeleonu, she just started working with us that day. Unknown to us she was two months pregnant and she died with the pregnancy. The fourth person that died was nurse Evelyn Uko who had been working with us for the past 31 years. She was a widow, a single parent raising four children, she died living those children with us, multiple tragedy because the four children were kicked out of the home because of the stigma. So watching her is a combination of so much burden on First Consultant.