Heroic First Consultants Team: Dr. Benjamin Ohiaeri (Middle) Ebola Survivor – Dr. Ada Igonoh (second from left)
First Consultants Hospital & it’s heroic staff are still trying to recover from the challenges brought on by the index case of Ebola in Nigeria – Patrick Sawyer.
In an interview with Tribune, the hospital’s Chief Medical Director, Dr Benjamin Ohiaeri spoke on how the premium health center is battling the stigmatization brought on by Ebola even though their herioic efforts prevented the disease from reaching the wider population and Nigeria has been declared Ebola free.
The loss of Dr Adadevoh, Dr Abaniwo, Evelyn Uko and Ejelonu, four key members of our team, the first two of who were the most senior of our medics and members of the Hospital Executive Committee, has been hard. They were colleagues, they were family. We are talking of a lifetime of working as a close team – as confidantes, as family. So, yes it’s been very tough.
As well as our fallen heroes, we have many of the survivors here. Medics, who placed their lives on the line to avoid Ebola spreading to the general public; they suffered the trauma of threats to their lives and the horror of rejection, in many cases, simply because they once had Ebola.
The families of our people have suffered horrendous victimisation too. Children of the dead hounded out of rented homes just when they needed compassion; the husband of a sufferer thrown out of his job simply because the employer learned of his wife’s condition.
The pain, the suffering, the horror goes on and on. Still, our people are back at work, doing what they do best – caring for the ill.
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