The Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Samson Parker, says the late Dr. Samuel Enemou, who treated Olu Koye, a Nigerian diplomat with the Economic Community of West African States, was aware that the diplomat was infected with the deadly Ebola Virus Disease.
The commissioner stated this during a press conference in Port Harcourt, the state capital on Friday evening.
Parker said, “He had received the late Dr. Patrick Sawyer in Lagos. Upon developing the symptom, confided in a female colleague, called Lilian, who contacted the late Enemuo. It was after contact was established with Dr. Enemuo that Olu Koye flew to Port Harcourt to see him.
“To conceal his movement, Koye, who had been quarantined among other people for having primary contact with the late Dr. Sawyer, the Liberian-American who transmuted the Ebola virus into Nigeria, sneaked out of the isolation unit where he was being observed and took a flight to Port Harcourt and switched off his phone so that he could not be reached or traced should he answer a call”.
On arrival in Port Harcourt, the commissioner said Koye checked into Mandate Gardens, a local hotel in the Rumunokoro area of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.
The hotel is in the same area where Dr. Enemuo’s private health facility, Sam Steel Clinic is located.
Parker added, “From what we have gathered so far, Dr. Enemuo, knowing that Koye was positive of the Ebola virus took some measures of precaution to protect himself while treating Koye.
“Knowing the enormity of what he was doing, Enemuo upon Koye’s departure for Lagos, poured bleach all over the room that Koye slept in order to sanitise the place”.
He said the deceased, after having developed the symptoms for Ebola, approached a colleague for treatment at Good Heart Hospital along Evo Road in G.R.A.
He said Enemuo did not tell his medical colleague the truth about his condition and merely told him that he had fever.
Parker said, “He lied. He did not tell the doctor that was treating him his full story. But the doctor, a nice and conscientious professional, suspected that Enemuo was either hiding something or was suffering from a strange ailment because he proved negative to malaria, fever and typhoid fever.
“To be sure of what he was doing, he spoke to other very experienced doctors about the strange case he was handling in his hospital”.
Dr. Parker pointed out that the doctor treating Enemuo even invited some his colleagues to come over to his hospital to study Enemuo’s medical history but most of them declined because the news of the Ebola virus was everywhere.
Consequently, Enemuo’s condition continued to deteriorate until he died after which the corpse was deposited at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital morgue.
The commissioner also declared that the advent of the dreaded Ebola virus in the state was currently posing a challenge, saying the development was tantamount to a war-time situation.
Parker, however, disclosed that the Rivers State governor, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, had pledged to provide funds to enable the state to procure all relevant materials as well as the services of medical experts from Nigeria and abroad to contain the virus.
He also said 60 more people who had secondary contacts with Koye were quarantined last night, bringing the total so far to 100.