Premium Times (Abuja)

16 August 2014

Nigeria: Breaking - Nigeria Records First Ebola Survivor

Photo: Tommy Trenchard/IRIN
Doctors working.

The doctor who treated Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian-American who brought Ebola into the country, at First Consultant Hospital, and was subsequently infected with the virus, has recovered and has since been discharged from the Isolation centre in Lagos.

The doctor was the first Nigerian infected with the virus and had been receiving treatment at the Isolation centre.

The Director of Communication and Community Mobilisation for the Nigerian Emergency Operation Centre on Ebola Virus Disease, Adebayo Onajole, confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that the doctor had been discharged.

He however declined to give further details, saying the Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, would hold a press conference later tonight to fully brief the media about the doctor's recovery.

The spokesperson to the Minister of Health, Dan Nwomeh, also confirmed the development to PREMIUM TIMES.

"Yes, yes, that's true. I'll send you a statement on that immediately," Mr. Nwomeh said.

The patient, PREMIUM TIMES understands, was discharged following series of laboratory investigations that declared him fit to go home.

Nigeria has recorded 10 cases of the disease out of which four people have died; six persons were quarantined while169 others have been kept under surveillance.

The patient was among the six people receiving treatment at a Lagos treatment centre.

The Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu had on Thursday told journalists that some of the patients were already responding to treatment.

Nigeria was free of Ebola until July 20 when Mr. Sawyer arrived.

He became terribly ill on his flight and was rushed to the First Consultant Hospital Obalende, Lagos, where he died on July 24.

Mr. Chukwu had said on Monday that although the Liberian government has apologized for the incidence, it was pertinent to note that Nigeria was free of Ebola Virus until its importation by the Liberian-American.

Mr. Sawyer's action, he said, has placed unnecessary stress on Nigeria's health system.

An apparently angry President Goodluck Jonathan also described Mr. Sawyer's action as "madness".

Since the Liberian's death in a Lagos hospital, three other persons who had contact with him have died of the virus.

President Goodluck Jonathan has since declared a national emergency on the disease while the federal health ministry in conjunction with health ministries in the 36 states are working to prevent the spread of the virus, which has killed over 1,000 people in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

EDITOR'S NOTE: We have updated this post by deleting the initial name provided to us as that of the discharged patient. We learnt that name is incorrect, and we are making effort to obtain the correct name of the survivor.

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InFocus

Nigeria Records First Ebola Survivor

Doctors working.

The doctor who treated the Liberian-American Ebola victim Patrick Sawyer in Lagos has recovered and been discharged from the quarantine unit. Read more »