With 7 days left before WHO declares Nigeria totally free of Ebola Virus Disease, Nigerians are ecstatic about the successful containment of the disease but there seems to be misplaced appraisal.
Credit have been given to only the ruling party, Governors and other politically inclined individuals, groups and societies who merely ran campaigns and gave long speeches on podiums. However, people have failed to give appropriate appreciation to the hands that actually ensured that the deadly virus was kicked out of Nigeria as quickly and seriously as it visited- the health workers.
Medical doctors, nurses, lab scientists, these were the individuals that came face to face with these deadly disease, some of whom lost their lives in dedication to ensure the total containment and eradication from the country.
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state hit the nail on the head in his Independence day address in Lagos.
“The question we must ask is whether those who make these claims saw Ebola?
“It is young Nigerians like Dr. Morris Ibeawuchi, who first made contact with the index case patient and continued to treat him, who saw and conquered Ebola.
“He got infected, from doing his job, got sick, survived and is back to his job.
“It is first responders from the Lagos State Ministry of Health like Dr. Jide Idris, Dr. Yewande Adesina, Dr. Wale Ahmed, Dr. Kayode Oguntimehin who saw Ebola.
“They responded to the call from First Consultant Hospital. They spent 12 (Twelve) hours daily in the early days supervising the construction of Ebola
containment facility when the epidemic broke…”
All the individuals rightly mentioned in Governor Fashola’s speech came in contact with the EVD. They were the ones who saw patients afraid to die of the visiting disease, families scared to lose their members and who struggled hourly to put an end to these unimaginably sad moments.
Appreciation goes to the government, groups and societies who enlightened the citizens and residents of Nigeria on the seriousness of the EVD but the real heroes are the health workers, dead or alive. Let’s not fail to give them the credit.