There was gloom at the secretariat of the Nigerian Medical Association,Lagos State chapter when the association’s Chairman, Dr. Tope Ojo, disclosed that the matron of the hospital where the Liberian-born American, Patrick Sawyer, was admitted for treatment was showing symptoms of Ebola virus.
The matron is one of the health workers at the Obalende, Lagos hospital who attended to Sawyer before he died of the disease (Ebola) on July 25..
A female medical doctor, who also participated in managing the Liberian- American was confirmed on Monday by the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, to have contracted the deadly virus.
Apart from the female medical doctor and the matron, six other people suspected to have been infected with the virus are being quarantined at the IDH, Yaba.
Ojo, who added that 30 striking doctors had volunteered to attend to the medical needs of all those with Ebola-related case, stated that the female medical doctor was stable.
He said, “We know that the infected doctor is stable, however, the matron is showing symptoms too. But everybody, including the experts from the World Health Organisation, are doing all they can.
“Strike or no strike, we must respond to emergencies. Our doctors are at the Yaba hospital where isolated contacts are being monitored.”
Ojo however said the NMA was having a challenge getting volunteers to be part of the Ebola Case Management Committee because of the fear of contracting the virus.
The NMA chairman said, “There are seven committees working on the management of the disease at the centre in Lagos which our members are part of.
“ But the committee which we are having a challenge getting volunteers is that of case management. This committee comprises people that work directly with confirmed cases.
“Our doctors are worried about the danger it(Ebola virus) poses to their lives and they need to be reassured.
“We understand their fears and we are making moves to confirm the level of preparedness of the government for doctors.”
He stressed the need for the government to put adequate measures in place to assure health workers of their safety in stemming the virus.
“ Look at the protective measures that doctors in Liberia and Guinea wear. They are well protected, yet some of them still caught it,” Ojo said.