Thursday, July 31, 2014 6:52 am
The First Consultants Hospital, a private medical centre in Nigeria’s commercial city presenting a detailed account of the incident leading to the death of a Liberian official, Patrick Sawyer, after contacting the deadly Ebola virus, said we were told he had an important role to play at the ECOWAS convention in Calabar, but we refused to let him out.
The hospital management stated this in a press statement issued before its closure by the Lagos State Ministry of Health, which also quarantined some hospital staff confirmed to have had close contact with the late consultant, in the first and only case recorded so far in relations with Ebola in Nigeria.
“The 40 year old consultant for the Liberian finance ministry collapsed on arrival at Lagos airport on July 20, and was taken to the First Consultants Hospital, where he was put in isolation and later died on Friday.“
The hospital according to the health ministry, will be shut for a week and all staff of the hospital closely monitored.
“The private hospital was demobilised (evacuated) and the primary source of infection eliminated. The decontamination process in all the affected areas has commenced,” Lagos state health commissioner Jide Idris told a news conference.
In a media interview with Channels Television also on Tuesday, Special Adviser on Public Health to the Lagos State Government, Dr. Yewande Adeshina commended the hospital for the manner in which it handled the matter helping to prevent a crisis situation for the entire country.
“The hospital, First Consultants, was fantastic in handling this man’s situation and I’m grateful to God that that was the hospital he went to because I’m not sure a lot of our hospitals were truly prepared. They (First Consultants) were so prepared that they had the personal protective equipment on their facility”, she said.
A Full Press Statement published by First Consultant on July 29, 2014.
In the interest of our patients, staff, the general public the nation at large we state the following:
A 40-years old gentleman came into the hospital with symptoms suggestive of Malaria (Fever, headache, extreme weakness) on Sunday night (20th July 2014).
He was fully conscious and gave us his clinical history and told us he is a Senior Diplomat from Liberia. Laboratory investigations confirmed malaria whilst other test for HIV, Hepatitis B&C were negative. He was admitted and treatment commenced.
However, due to the fact that he was not responding to treatment but rather was developing haemorrhagic symptoms we further questioned him.
He denied having been in contact with any persons with EVD (Ebola Virus Disease) at home, in any hospital or at any burial. In spite of this denial we immediately decided to do the following:
1. To conduct further tests for possible Infectious Haemorrhagic Disease, especially EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE, based on the fact that he was a Liberian citizen and the recent ourbreak of EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE in that country.
2. We immediatrly isolated/quarantined the patient, commenced barrier nursing and simultaneously contacted the Lagos State Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of Health to enquire where further laboratory tests could be performed as we had a high index of suspicion of possible EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE
3 WE REFUSED FOR HIM TO BE LET OUT OF THE HOSPITAL IN SPITE OF INTENSE PRESSURE, AS WE WERE TOLD THAT HE WAS A SENIOR ECOWAS OFFICIAL AND HAD AN IMPORTANT ROLE TO PLAY AT THE ECOWAS CONVENTION IN CALABAR, CROSS RIVER STATE.
4. The initial test results from LUTH laboratory indicated a signal of possible EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE, but required confirmation.
5. We then took the further step of reaching out to Senior Officials in the office of the Secretary of Health of the United States of America who promptly assisted us with contacts at the centres for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organisation Regional Laboratory Centre in Senegal.
6. Working jointly with the State, Federal Agencies and Internaional Agencies, we were able to obtain confirmation of EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE (ZAIRE STRAIN), (W.H.O. Regional Center Lab-Senegal / Redeemes lab / LUTH Laboratory)
7. The gentleman subsequently died on Friday at a 6.50 (25th July, 2014)
8. All agencies were promptly notified and in consultation with W.H.O, Regional EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE Centre in Conakry, Guinea and Best Practices, the following was commenced:
a. Orderly temporary shut down of the hospital with immediate evacuation of in house patients
b. The appropriate professional removal of the body and its incineration wunder W.H.O. guidelines witnessed by all appropriate agencies.
9. Having concluded the above, it is now appropriate to give this Press release in the interest of our partient, staff, the general public and the nation at large.
10. In keeping with W.H.O, guidelines, hospitals is shut down briefly as full decontamination exercise is currently in progress W.H.O. Guidelines
The Board and Management of the Hospital wish to thank all our staff members for their diligence and professionalism.