Nigerians beg Obama to give Lagos nurse Ebola vaccine
Nigerians on different social media platforms on Saturday asked President Barack Obama to give a vaccine, ZMapp, being developed in the United States to treat a Nigerian nurse, Justina Ejelonu, reportedly infected with Ebola.
On such websites as Facebook and Twitter, the petitioners begged Obama to release the vaccine to Ejelonu and other Africans suffering from the virus. The petitions were made on the White House website.
Ejelonu, who is one of those that were infected with the Ebola virus after treating the Liberian victim, Patrick Sawyer, has said she did not have direct contact with Sawyer’s body fluids.
The deadly virus, which leads to death in humans within days from infection, is transmitted through sweat, urine, blood, and other fluids from the body.
Ejelonu recounted her encounter with Sawyer in a report on a website, www.southeastnigeria.com.
According to the website, she said she had checked his vitals and helped him with food because he was too weak, and that the mode of transmission could be from touching the same surfaces as the Liberian.
She said, “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 linens with great precaution. Every patient is treated as high-risk. If it were air borne, by now wahala for dey (there would have been trouble). I still thank God.”
Ejelonu added that the workers’ uniforms and Sawyer’s bedding were burnt afterwards, saying the staff were under surveillance and off-duty till August 11.
She said, “Our samples have long been taken by the World Health Organisation and so far, we have been fine. Kudos to my hospital management because we work professionally with every patient considered as high-risk — that’s the training.”
The health worker noted that if it were a public hospital, the outcome might have been different, adding that she was however grateful to the Lagos State Government and the Federal Government for their support.