A NIGERIAN MEDICAL LEGEND –AMEYO STELLA SHADE ADADEVOH
Sometimes, I would daydream about saving the world from a popular disease or providing cures for some of the world’s dreaded diseases. And when someone blocked out those imaginations by snapping me back to reality, I would usually hiss knowing full well that life was back to normal and my daydreams were mere imaginations. We all have dreams. I mean, any human without a dream, target or goal is as good as not living. What is the point of your existence if you do not have a goal, if you aspire to nothing? I always tell myself that certainly, if it were the will of God, all my daydreams would spin into reality.
Now, here is a Nigerian medical legend. She is being celebrated as the Nigerian physician that curbed a wider spread of the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease. Ameyo Adadevoh was born in Lagos, Nigeria in October 1956. She spent the majority of her life in Lagos, Nigeria. Her father and great-grandfather, Babatunde Kwaku Adadevoh and Herbert Samuel Macaulay, were both distinguished scientists. Her grandfather was from the Adadevoh family of the Volta Region of Ghana, to which she was very much connected, though she lived in Lagos. Her father, Babatunde Kwaku Adadevoh, was a physician and former Vice chancellor of the University of Lagos. She was also the grandniece of Nigeria’s first president Nnamdi Azikiwe. Adadevoh worked at First Consultant Hospital where a statue of her great-grandfather exists. So you see? Ameyo already had the scientific blood flowing through her veins. She is survived by her husband, Afolabi Emmanuel Cardoso, and her son, Bankole Cardoso, among other relatives.
She went to preschool at the Mainland Preparatory Primary School in Yaba, Lagos (1961-1962). Ameyo Adadevoh spent two years in Boston, Massachusetts before moving back with her family to Lagos. She attended primary school at the Corona School, Yaba in Lagos, Nigeria (1964-1968). She attended Queen’s School, Ibadan, Nigeria for her secondary school education, finishing in 1974. She spent most of her life in Lagos. Her primary, secondary and tertiary education were in Lagos, so we can conclude she was a Lagosian.
Adadevoh graduated from the University Of Lagos College Of Medicine with a Bachelor of Medicine; Bachelor of Surgery. She served her one-year mandatory housemanship at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital in 1981. She also did her residency at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, becoming a fellow of the West African College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1983. She then went to London to complete her fellowship in endocrinology at Hammersmith Hospital. She spent 21 years at the First Consultants Medical Centre in Lagos, Nigeria. There, she served as the Lead Consultant Physician and Endocrinologist. All through her life, this woman had been a genius. And she showed seriousness and dedication to her studies. Ameyo pushed through in achieving her dreams and even going higher in the academic field. Bravo to this woman! She should serve as a role model to Nigerian girls and women.
Now, this woman was a physician, an endocrinologist. She had never seen cases of Ebola but she was able to diagnose and contain Nigeria’s first-ever Ebola patient. This act was what made her a national hero. She was brought into the limelight as being the medical practitioner to curb the spread of the disease by quarantining her patient, Patrick Sawyer, despite pressures from the Liberian government. This woman put her life on the line to ensure the safety of Nigerian citizens. Today, the entire world celebrates her; even Google does too. She is a pride to Nigerians and she remains a legend.
We all have dreams to be accomplished in the medical field. It takes dedication, seriousness, strong will and discipline to get recognized as a great medical professional. But most of all, it takes the grace of God. There are many medical doctors in Nigeria today, but what could set you apart from the crowd is your self will. Are you ready to take chances? Are you ready to sacrifice? Do you have a passion to help people regardless of anything? Your answers to these questions will determine where you would be and how far you will go. Always remember however to stay positive.
Written by Jane-Frances Ibida, a medical student at the University of Nigeria