Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sobs, Sobs, Justina Obi Echelonu a Nurse From Mbaise Finally Dies of EBOLA Virus in Lagos!

Justina Obi Echelonu, One of the Nurses who treated Patrick Sawyer dies, No #EbolaVirus Disease in Enugu
Justina Obi Echelonu from Mbaise, who happens to be one of the primary contacts who participated in the initial management of the index case, late American-Liberian, Patrick Sawyer, at the First Consultant Hospital, Obalende, Lagos, has died in quarantine.  She is the second nurse and fourth fatality of the Ebola Virus Disease in the country. Despite our appeal to USA government to send their trial drug- Zmapp to save Justina and others, our pleadings fell on a deaf ear, and now Justina is gone, with 6 others critically ill at the isolation unit.

Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu confirmed her death yesterday at a joint press briefing with the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, in Abuja.

Chukwu, who disclosed that another of the doctors who treated the late Patrick Sawyer tested positive to the deadly virus, said Nigeria has now recorded 10 confirmed cases of Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, of which four have died and six are currently under treatment.

“The total number of persons under surveillance in Lagos is now 169. These are all secondary contacts as all the primary contacts have completed the 21-day incubation period and have been de-listed to resume their normal lives,” the Minister explained.

Earlier, a top medical expert who is part of the medical team of experts managing confirmed cases at the Ebola Ward of the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, said the nurse passed away in the early hours of yesterday.

“We lost her in the early hours of today after much effort. She was one of the people that helped Sawyer when he was vomiting and stooling. That was when she contacted it,” he remarked.

Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, who spoke to our correspondent on phone, said he could not confirm the death of the nurse yet but promised to give details after the Ebola Management Committee meeting scheduled to hold at the hospital later in the evening.

Also confirming news of her death, Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji regretted the demise of the nurse, and commended her for her selfless service to the nation. In a statement issued, yesterday, the governor prayed for the repose of the dead.

“My heart bleeds as I write this. On behalf of my family, the Government and the good people of Abia State, I commiserate with family, friends and colleagues of our dear lady nurse, Justina Echelonu, who died following the contact she had with the American-Liberian, Mr. Patrick Sawyer, in the course of discharging her duty as a nurse. I pray God to give them the fortitude to bear this tragic and irreparable loss. Rest in Peace Ms Justina Echelonu.”

Ms. Echelonu is the fourth person to die of the disease in Nigeria after Mr. Sawyer died on July 25 and was followed by two other nurses.

Justina, 25, previously worked at Otunba Tunwase National Paediatric Centre, Ijebu-Ode in Ogun State before relocating to Lagos to take up appointment with First Consultants Hospital. She hailed from Mbaise in Imo State and graduated from the Department of Nursing Science in Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki.

Justina’s story before she died

“I never contacted his fluids. I checked his vitals, helped him with his food (he was too weak)….I basically touched where his hands touched and that’s the only contact, not directly with his fluids. At a stage, he yanked off his infusion and we had blood everywhere on his bed…but the ward maids took care of that and changed his linen with great precaution.

“Every patient is treated as high risk…if it were airborne, by now wahala for dey. I still thank God.

Friends, up to our uniforms and all linen were burnt off. We are on surveillance and off work till 11th.

“Our samples have long been taken by WHO and so far we have been fine. For me, kudos to my hospital management because we work professionally with every patient considered risk, because that’s the training.

“Had it been it’s a hospital where they manage ordinary gloves like government hospitals and some janjaweed private hospital, …wahala for dey o. I must also thank Lagos Govt…in fact! Even Federal Government sef (sic)…all have been supportive. I’m good and so are the others in the hospital…”

Enugu, Abia, Anambra, Abuja cleared of Ebola virus infection

Further, the Health Minister stated that Enugu State now has six persons under surveillance as 15 after complete evaluation were found not to have had contact with the nurse, a primary contact of the index case who became symptomatic and tested positive and is one of the 10 confirmed cases.

“The nurse who had been placed under surveillance in Lagos disobeyed the Incidence Management Committee and travelled to Enugu. At the time she made the trip, she was yet to show any symptom and did not infect anyone on her way as transmission of the disease is only possible when a carrier of the virus becomes ill.

“However, she has since been brought back to Lagos. Before the return journey, she had become symptomatic and had to be conveyed to Lagos with her spouse in special ambulances. The husband is not symptomatic neither is he positive for Ebola Virus Disease but has been quarantined given the intimate contact with her while in Enugu.

“It is therefore important to emphasise that there is no Ebola Virus Disease in Enugu. All cases are still confined to Lagos State. Also, reports of Ebola Virus Disease in Abia, Imo, Akwa Ibom and Anambra States as well as the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja have all been investigated and none of them was found to be Ebola Virus positive,” Chukwu affirmed.

Courtesy of: vangaurd

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