Ameyo Adadevoh (born Ameyo Stella Shade Adadevoh; was a Nigerian physician. Her family lineage reinforces her role as a patriot, leader, and heroine. Her paternal great grandfather, Herbert Samuel Macaulay, was a prominent politician and is considered to be the founding father of Nigerian nationalism. He established the first political party and his portrait is on Nigeria’s one naira coin. Her maternal grandfather was the first cousin of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first President of Nigeria, a respected modern nationalist, and one of the most revered politicians in Nigerian history. Her father, Babatunde Kwaku Adadevoh, was a renowned physician, distinguished scientist, lecturer, author, and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos. He served as a consultant and advisor to numerous international organizations such as the World Health Organization and several United Nations agencies and commissions.
Adadevoh was born Saturday, 27th October 1956 in Lagos, Nigeria, to Professor Babatunde Kwaku Adadevoh of the Adadevoh family of Anyako Royal House, Ghana and the Crowther/Macaulay family of Lagos, Nigeria and Deborah Regina Mclntosh of the Nnamdi Azikwe family (President of Nigeria 1963-1966) and Smith/Wilkey families of Lagos, Nigeria.
As a result of her keen perception, courage, and steadfastness, all 20 Ebola cases in Nigeria were traced to a single path of transmission originating with the first (index) patient. This is what differentiated the Ebola outbreak in Nigeria from the outbreaks in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Due to her actions, Nigeria was able to contain the virus and the World Health Organization declared Nigeria Ebola-free on October 20th 2014.
Dr. Adadevoh was a member of the Nigerian Medical Association, Medical Women Association of Nigeria, British-Nigerian Association, Endocrine and Metabolism Society of Nigeria, Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria, and National Postgraduate Medical College. She served as a Non-Executive Director of Learn Africa Plc and a writer for the first-ever “Ask the Doc” column in Today’s Woman Magazine, among other accomplishments.
In 2012, H1N1 (swine flu) spread to Nigeria and Dr. Adadevoh was the first doctor to diagnose and alert the Ministry of Health. Less than two years later, she was again the first doctor to identify another contagious virus – this one much deadlier than the first.
On July 20th 2014, Patrick Sawyer – Nigeria’s first Ebola patient – left quarantine in Liberia and flew to Nigeria to attend a meeting of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). He collapsed at the airport in Lagos and was taken to First Consultants Medical Centre (FCMC) where Dr. Adadevoh worked. Under normal circumstances as an ECOWAS official, he might have been taken to a government hospital, but the doctors at all federal facilities were on an indefinite strike because ongoing negotiations with the government failed to meet their requests.
The first doctor at FCMC who saw Mr. Sawyer diagnosed him with malaria. When Dr. Adadevoh saw him during her ward round the following day, she suspected Ebola despite the initial malaria diagnosis and the fact that she, and no other doctor in Nigeria, had never seen Ebola before. Being the thorough clinician she was, Dr. Adadevoh questioned Mr. Sawyer about his worsening symptoms and although he denied having contact with anyone with Ebola, she immediately contacted the Lagos State and federal Ministries of Health and got him tested.
While waiting for the test results, the patient and other Liberian government officials began insisting that Dr. Adadevoh discharge him so he could attend the ECOWAS conference. She refused. They proceeded to threaten to sue her for kidnapping and a violation of human rights (holding him against his will because she did not have a confirmed diagnosis) but she continued to resist their relentless pressure. She understood the importance of containing him.
Lagos State – and Nigeria as a whole – was not ready for Mr. Sawyer. There were no protocols, processes, or equipment in place within the health system to deal with an Ebola patient so Dr. Adadevoh did what she could with the limited resources she had in the hospital. Nigeria had no isolation facility at the time and the infectious diseases hospital in Lagos was not functional, so she worked with officials to create an isolation area in the hospital to continue his treatment. Patrick Sawyer’s Ebola diagnosis was later confirmed, and he died at FCMC.
Dr. Adadevoh’s Ebola diagnosis resulted in the Nigerian government mobilizing the necessary resources to deal with an Ebola outbreak. Her actions allowed for a much more strategic containment of the virus across the country as the Nigerian government was able to successfully trace all possible contacts from the index patient Patrick Sawyer. There were 20 Ebola cases total. 8 were healthcare workers. Of those healthcare workers, 4 survived and 4 died, including Dr. Adadevoh.
Her sacrifice prevented a national catastrophe in a country of more than 170 million people. She died of Ebola virus on 19th August, 2014.
|Posthumous Rotary Award||3rd Oct. 2014||Rotary Club of Abuja-Metro|
|National and Community Service Award||5 October 2014||Trinity House Church|
|Honorary Doctorate Degree: Doctor of Letters, Honouris Causa||11 October 2014||Baze University|
|Nollywood Humanity Award||18 October 2014||Nollywood Movies Awards|
|Arise Award||25 October 2014||Redeemed Christian Church of God|
|Posthumous Award||3 November 2014||Women in Management, Business Organizations and Public Service (WIMBIZ)|
|Exemplary Leadership Award||12 November 2014||Pathcare Laboratories|
|Distinguished Service Award||15 November 2014||Guild of Medical Directors FCT Abuja|
|Commemorative Plaque||19 November 2014||Nigerian American Medical Foundation|
|Nigeria’s Hero of the Year Award||30 November 2014||The Sun Awards|
|2014 SEC Integrity Award||1 December 2014||Security and Exchange Commission|
|Number 1 Humanitarian Everyone Should Know About (2014)||11 December 2014||International Medical Corp UK|
|Woman Who Shaped 2014||22 December 2014||The Guardian|
|Number 1 Global Thinker of 2014||23 December 2014||Lo Spazio della Politica|
|Leading Woman of 2014||23 December 2014||CNN|
|Person of The Year 2014||31 December 2014||Ekekeee|
|Nigerian of the Year Award||4 January 2015||National Infinity Magazine|
|Honorary Doctorate Degree: Doctor of Science, Honouris Causa||17 January 2015||National Open University of Nigeria|
|First Woman||11 March 2015||First Bank of Nigeria|