Friday, August 8, 2014

Nigerians Campaign For Ebola Patients To Be Given Experimental Drugs Used For US Doctors

Posted in: , ,
Nigerian Ebola Patient - Obi Justina Ejelonu

A graduate of Ebonyi State University Abakaliki, Obi Justina Ejelonu, was previously working at Otunba Tunwase National Peadiatric Centre Ijebu Ode in Ogun state. Last December, the young nurse volunteered to join a Facebook Group organizing free medical services in Aba to make it a success.

She then relocated to Lagos to work at First Consultant Hospital Obalande. This is the same hospital where first Ebola victim in Nigeria, Patrick Sawyer received treatment before he died.

Justina was among the nurses that cared for Patrick Sawyer. Last week she posted the following on the FB Group and has not been heard from since:

"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 good n so r the others in d hosp....."

According to the admin of the FB group, Justina went into quarantine after that post and has now tested positive to Ebola. While Justina is receiving what care is available to sick patients, there is high possibility she might die, and they have now started a campaign to pressure the US Govt and Big Pharma to send the experimental drugs to Nigeria and the rest of West Africa where Ebola is ravaging. He writes;

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 alongside about 40 others. 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 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 caring for the weak and infirmed. It could have been you or me.

All I ask of you is that you join us to 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 and Lagos State Government immediately. Our 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 Nigerians. If we don't do it, we will lose Justina 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 hard enough.

We want to launch twitter and facebook campaigns from tomorrow morning using the handle #GiveThemExperimentalDrugs to draw attention to their plight. It is inhuman to keep people and wait for them to die. Justina has already informed me that she and others tested positive to Ebola but I wish that you keep that bit of information private for legal and humanitarian reasons. Families are involved.

These brothers and sister had life and hope before this Liberian man flew into Nigeria.

Should we just wait for them to die?

Please contact every Nigerian celebrity you know to join this campaign in addition to writing about this in your media and social network handles. 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.

Before now, three Ebola experts – including Peter Piot who discovered the virus in 1976 – have called on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to release the drug which was given to two American health workers infected with Ebola leading to a reversal of their infection. However, officials insist there are no available doses to be released, and it woulf take months to manufacture more serum.

Also, medical experts are locked in an ethical debate. Should the experimental drug, previously untested in humans be given to patients who may not fully understand the implications? Some think yes, others say no. The WHO has convened an emergency meeting to discuss this and other issues concerning Ebola.

A White House petition started to release the drug to Africa has received less than 300 signatures out of the reuired 100,000 in a month.

In an online poll by US News, 78% of the respondents believe the drugs should be released to Africa.

The latest figures, through Monday, show that 1,711 people in West Africa have been diagnosed with the disease and 932 have died, the WHO announced.

The largest number of deaths, 363, have been in Guinea, followed by 286 in Sierra Leone and 282 in Liberia.

There has been two reported deaths in Nigeria over the last two days.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Click Post a Comment to share your thoughts, I'll love to hear from you. Thanks!

*Comments on old posts are moderated and may take sometime to be shown. That's just because I want to see them and respond to you if necessary.