Today’s Doodle celebrates Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh, the physician whose expertise and heroic efforts curbed the spread of Ebola in Nigeria in 2014.
Born in Lagos, Nigeria on this day in 1956, Dr. Adadevoh descended from a long line of respected scientists and statesmen. Dr. Adadevoh completed her residency at Lagos University Teaching Hospital West African College of Physicians and Surgeons credential before doing a fellowship in London. Following her fellowship in endocrinology at Hammersmith Hospital, she returned to Lagos, Nigeria where she spent 21 years at the First Consultants Medical Center and served as the Lead Consultant Physician and Endocrinologist.
In July 2014 a Liberian-American attorney arrived in Lagos on a flight from Monrovia heading to a conference on economic development and collapsed in the airport. The patient was taken to First Consultant Medical Center, where one of Dr. Adadevoh’s colleagues first diagnosed him as suffering from malaria. Although no Nigerian doctor had seen a case of Ebola before, Dr. Adadevoh suspected the patient might have been exposed to the highly contagious virus and subsequently ordered blood tests to confirm while also alerting Nigerian health officials.
While awaiting test results, Dr. Adadevoh was pressured by Liberian government officials to let the patient go so he could attend the conference as planned. Despite threats of lawsuits, Dr. Adadevoh stood firm, stating that she would not release the patient “for the greater public good.”
The test results came back positive for the Ebola virus and while the patient could not be treated in time, Dr. Adadevoh’s medical insight and the courage of her convictions ensured that other exposed patients could be treated rapidly and that the outbreak was contained. Unfortunately, in treating the initial patients, Dr. Adedevoh contracted the virus and passed away, along with three of her colleagues at the medical center.
Her legacy lives on through DRASA (Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh) Health Trust, a nonprofit organization devoted to public health that works with communities and health workers to reduce the spread of infectious diseases and ensure that Nigeria is well prepared for future outbreaks.
Happy Birthday Dr. Adadevoh!