We should not let Ebola nurse-victim Justina Ejelonu, others die.
By John Okiyi Kalu
As the Ebola disease unleashes more deaths and problems in west Africa, I recall that in December 2013, as we were organizing Igboville Enyimba medical retreat for Aba, one young lady Nurse Obi Justina Ejelonu volunteered and joined us to make it a successful event. She was previously working at Otunba Tunwase National Pediatric Centre Ijebu Ode in Ogun state and a graduate of Ebonyi State University Abakaliki.
Earlier this year (2014), she relocated to Lagos to work at First Consultant Hospital Obalande owned by Dr. Ohiaeri. But last week she posted the following (unedited) at Igboville and disappeared:
“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 dats d only contact.not directly wt his fluids. @a stage,he yanked off his infusion and we had blood everywhere on his bed…..but d ward maids took care of that and changed his linens with great precaution. everypatient is treated as high risk …..if it were airborne,by now wahala for dey.i still thank God.”
“Friends,upto our uniforms n all linens were burnt off.we r on surveillance n off work till 11th.
Our samples v long bn taken by WHO n so far we v been fine.
For me,kudos to my hospital managt cos we work proffessionally wt every patient considered risk cos thats d training.had it been its a hospital where they manage ordinar gloves lik Govt hospital n some janjaweed private hosp..:lol….wahala for dey o.i must also thank Lagos Govt….infact! Even fed govt sef….all been supportive.im good n so r the others in d hosp…..”
We have since confirmed that she was among those who attended to the Liberian Ebola patient, Mr Sawyerr, in Lagos. She is currently being quarantined at Mainland hospital Yaba Lagos. This clinic is immediately after Yaba Tech. She is still alive and spoke with me today on phone. But one of her fellow nurses died yesterday, as you might have read in Nigerian newspapers.
You can help save her life and that of about 40 others quarantined at Yaba, even though the situation looks hopeless. We have confirmed that most of those in quarantine with her are of Igbo origin. The hospital is owned by an Igbo man from Nkwerre in Imo State.
We simply just can’t fold our arms and wait for this deadly virus to take her and others away. Her only crime, alongside others, is doing her job of care for the weak and indisposed. It could have been you or me.
All I ask of you is that we launch a massive online campaign using the news and social media to demand that President Obama release the experimental drugs used in managing the American Ebola victims to the Nigerian government immediately.
Nigeria’s health minister has already informed the public that they have requested for the drugs from America. But we need to mount pressure using all the resources available to us as humans and Ndigbo. If we don’t do it, we will lose Nurse J and others. Obama already said he won’t release the drugs to Africans but given that American government is public opinion driven, we can make him change his mind if we try.
We will launch twitter and facebook campaigns from Saturday morning of August 9, 2014,using the handle #GiveThemExperimentalDrugs to draw attention to their plight. It is inhuman to keep people and wait for them to die. Nurse J has informed me that she and others tested positive to Ebola!
She wants to live and her will to make it is strong!
These brothers and sisters had life and hope before this Liberian man flew into Nigeria. Should we just wait for them to die?
Contact every Nigerian celebrity to join this campaign. Also, to write about this in your media and social network. Put pressure on every government official you know in Nigeria and America. Ask your facebook friends to join this campaign in a non political manner. Get friends and family members involved because we are all at risk if nothing is done.
Thank You and God help us.
* *John Okiyi Kalu, a Technology Consultant is a toxicologist and public policy issues contributor to Houston-based USAfrica multimedia networks and USAfricaonline.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
#Achebe USAfrica Founder Dr. Chido Nwangwu gets award for his works on#ThingsFallApart author Chinua Achebe from ASA-USA Dallas. Chido is completing the book on Mandela & Achebe: Footprints of Greatness. by Chido Nwangwu ISBN 978-0-9893970-0-1. www.MandelaAchebeChido.com
•Dr. Chido Nwangwu, moderator of the Achebe Colloquium (Governance, Security, and Peace in Africa) December 7-8, 2012 at Brown University in Rhode Island and former adviser on Africa business/issues to the Mayor of Houston, is the Founder & Publisher of Houston-based USAfrica multimedia networks since 1992, first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com; CLASSmagazine, AchebeBooks.com, the USAfrica-powered e-groups of AfricanChristians, Nigeria360 and the largest pictorial events megasite on the African diaspora www.PhotoWorks.TV . He was recently profiled by the CNN International for his pioneering works on multimedia/news/public policy projects for Africans and Americans. http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/international/2010/07/29/mpa.african.media.bk.a.cnn e-mail: Chido247@Gmail.com wireless 1-832-45-CHIDO (24436).
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- Eight lessons of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica multimedia networks, Houston. http://www.usafricaonline.com/2009/11/01/chido-8lessons-rwanda-genocide/
Margaret Thatcher, Mandela and Africa. By Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfrica, and the first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com. Click for newscast video of London-based SkyNEWS, the global, 24-hour British international tv network’s interview with USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwu on April 11, 2013 regarding this latest commentary http://youtu.be/G0fJXq_pi1c )
There’s a compelling political trinity to Nelson Mandela: the man, the messiah and the mystique. http://usafricaonline.com/2013/07/18/mandela-95-hearty-cheers-to-his-footprints-of-greatness-by-chido-nwangwu/