November 5, 2019

Ebola: Reps call for Immortalisation of Dr Stella Adedevoh

Stella Adedevoh, Ebola

The House of Representatives has called for the immortalisation of the late Dr Stella Adadevoh in recognition of her contributions to curbing the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease in 2014.

This followed a unanimous adoption of a motion moved by Rep. Akiolu Kayode (APC-Lagos) during the plenary presided by the Speaker of the House, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila on Tuesday.

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The house recalled that Adadevoh risked her life in a bid to curb the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease in the country by placing an infected Liberian-American diplomat, Mr Patrick Sawyer, in quarantine.

The green chamber recalled that the health sector was not prepared for the epidemic and led to the death of Adadevoh and members of her medical team, who had to make do with the resources available to them.

The house appreciated Adadevoh’s bravery and professionalism which saved Nigeria from the impact of an uncontrolled outbreak of the virus and also promoted the swift, strategic and coordinated containment process of the virus.

The legislature noted that the process led to the country being declared Ebola-free on Oct. 20, 2014, by the World Health Organisation.

“The house is aware that Nigeria recorded a total of eight deaths out of the 20 Ebola cases, with 11 health workers being part of the victims, of which five died, including the proactive Dr Adadevoh who died on 19 August 2014.”

The house expressed concern that failure to give due recognition to the heroic acts of the doctor and her team could dampen the spirit of patriotism among Nigerians, especially health care workers.

It noted that a national college or one of the nation’s teaching hospitals be named after Adadevoh as a way of immortalising her.

The green chamber also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to confer a befitting Posthumous National Honour on her.

Furthermore, the house called on the Ministry of Education and other related authorities to ensure the inclusion of Adadevoh’s acts and other such national heroes in the country’s civic education curricula to encourage patriotism and nationalism in the young ones.

The representatives also observed a minute silence in memory of Adadevoh, her medical team and all Nigerians who lost their lives to the disease.

In a similar motion, moved by Rep. Paschal Obi (APM-IMO), the house called on the Ministry of Health to deploy necessary materials and personnel at the airports, seaports and land borders to check the possible spread of Ebola Virus.

It recalled the recent outbreak of the virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in March where more than 1,000 cases of Ebola infections were reported.

The house commended the Federal Government for its efforts in tackling the menace in 2014 but expressed concern that measures needed to be put in place to avert any reoccurrence.

It urged the Ministry of Health to assess and certify the country emergency preparedness against unexpected epidemics.

It also urged the Federal Government to set aside funds for the management of Ebola should it reoccur.

For both motions, the green chamber mandated the Committees on Healthcare Services and Health Institutions to ensure compliance.