Its arrival in Lagos, an overcrowded city of 21million, sparked fears that the disease would become impossible to contain.
first case in Nigeria was imported from Liberia. Liberian-American
diplomat Patrick Sawyer collapsed at an airport in Lagos on July 20.
staff were not equipped to deal with the highly infectious disease and
the government had not set up a hospital isolation unit, so he infected
several people, including health workers at the hospital to which he was
But the authorities acted quickly after the doctor on duty at the hospital, who later died of the disease, quarantined Sawyer.
Ameyo Adadevoh, at the First Consultants’ Hospital, in Lagos, kept
Sawyer in the hospital despite his protests, preventing the dying man
from spreading the disease.
Once the hospital contacted the
ministry of health in the state of Lagos, and the federal ministry in
Abuja, an isolation unit was quickly set up and equipped.
announcement that Nigeria has, for now at least, stamped out the deadly
haemorrhagic fever follows a similar declaration in much smaller
Senegal, where one case was imported from Guinea.
such success stories will change the way the West, where many are in the
grip of panic about a disease brought to their shores from Africa, sees