Meet Dr Ameyo Adadevoh, Who Died for Nigeria to Stop the Spread of Ebola

Last updated on August 5th, 2023 at 10:15 pm


The outbreak of coronavirus in March 2020 brings forth the case of Dr Ameyo Adadevoh who alerted Nigerians and entire Africa in 2014 about an outbreak of a similar deadly disease Ebola virus.
Ameyo Adadevoh

  • Full name: Ameyo Stella Adadevoh
  • Profession: Medicine
  • Date of Birth: October 27, 1956
  • Died: August 19, 2014.
  • Nationality: Nigerian
  • Posthumous Awards:20 (still counting)
  • Husband: Afolabi Emmanuel Cardoso
  • Son: Bankole
  • Father: Babatunde Kwaku Adadevoh
  • Great-grandfather: Herbert Samuel Macaulay

Only a few people knew the selfless trait of Ameyo Adadevoh, until she paid the supreme price in order to save millions of Nigerians contracting the deadly Ebola virus imported into the country by a Liberian Patrick Sawyer who came to Nigeria for a conference.

What would Ameyo Adadevoh be remembered for? How many Nigerians appreciated her efforts in saving millions of lives? Did Nigeria’s government do anything significant to immortalise her? We’ll tell you more about the late medical doctor.


What you probably didn’t know about Ameyo Stella Adadevoh?

She is a medical doctor who is credited with having putting under control the wider spread of Ebola virus in Nigeria.

She achieved this by insisting that the carrier of the ebola virus Patrick Sawyer in quarantine, even though there were pressures and intimidation from the Liberian government to release Sawyer for him to attend the conference he came to, Late Mrs. Adadevoh would not give in to official intimidation.

Ameyo Stella Adadevoh was born in Lagos, Southwest, Nigeria on October 27, 1956. Her great-grandfather Herbert is one of the founders of modern Nigeria, who made great impact in Nigeria’s political system while her father Babatunde Kwaku Adadevoh was the former Vice-Chancellor of University of Lagos (UNILAG).

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It is also imperative to know that Ameyo Adadevoh is a grand-niece of Nigeria’s first President Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe.

She was surrounded by a highly academic and influential family. Which means she could have chosen to keep herself away from the virus.

How did she achieve this?

As if Patrick Sawyer was deliberately trying to spread the ebola virus to top conference attendees, Dr Adadevoh resisted him from escaping from the isolation room he was confined in and was quoted as saying, “for the greater public good”.

Through her effort, the Nigerian index case was limited playing a key role in curbing the spread of the virus in Nigeria.

When did Ameyo Adadevoh test positive for Ebola virus?

While she tried to reduce the spread rate, she tested positive to the deadly virus on August 4, 2014.

And on the afternoon of August 19, 2014, she died.

Academic career:

From 1961-1962, Adadevoh attended the Mainland Preparatory Primary School in Yaba, Lagos. She moved to Boston with her family where she spent two years before moving back to Lagos.

While in the commercial city, she Corona School, Yaba in Lagos, for her primary school education from 1964-1968 and moved from to the prestigious Queen’s School, Ibadan from 1969-1974 for her SSCE.

Medical career:

After her SSCE, Adadevoh proceeded to pursue Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery degree at the University of Lagos, College of Medicine.

After that, she went for the mandatory one-year housemanship at Lagos University Teaching Hospital in 1981 and spent her residency at Lagos University Teaching Hospital, and obtained her West African College of Physicians and Surgeons credential in 1983.

From there, she went to London for a fellowship in endocrinology at Hammersmith Hospital.

Upon return to Nigeria, Ameyo Adadevoh spent 21 years at the First Consultants Medical Center in Lagos State where she served as the Lead Consultant Physician and Endocrinologist.

Adadevoh’s effort in fighting against Ebola Virus:

Her effort prevented Patrick Sawyer from spreading the ebola virus across Nigeria in 2014.
Through her effort, the Nigerian Ministry of Health set up an Ebola Emergency Operations Center.

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A few months after Adadevoh’s death, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Nigeria to be Ebola-free on October 20, 2014

Who was Adadevoh’s husband?

She is married to Afolabi Emmanuel Cardoso on April 26, 1986, the marriage was blessed with a child Bankole Cardoso.

When was Ameyo Adadevoh buried?

Her ashes were presented to her family and were buried in a private interment ceremony on September 12, 2014, in Lagos.

Thereafter, Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh Health Trust (DRASA), a non-profit health organization was created in her honour.

Also, the film “93 Days” is dedicated to her. The movie reflects on her efforts of treating Patrick Sawyer.

On October 27, 2018, she was honoured with a Google Doodle posthumously on her 62nd birthday.

Posthumous Awards:

In recent times, no Nigerian has ever been so honoured even in death-like Late Dr.  Ameyo Adadevoh.

Within three months after she succumbed to the ebola virus, she received 16 posthumous awards within and outside Nigeria, in all she received 20 awards (still counting) and one posthumous honour from Google in 2018.

List of posthumous awards received by Ameyo Adadevoh:

Year Awards Given By
October 3, 2014 Posthumous Rotary Award Rotary Club of Abuja-Metro
October 5, 2014 National and Community Service Award Trinity House church
October 11, 2014 Doctor of letters, Honouris Causa Baze University, Abuja
October 18, 2014 Nollywood Humanity Award Nollywood Movies Awards
5th October, 2014 Arise Award Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG)
3rd November, 2014 WIMBIZ Posthumous Award Women in Management, Business Organisation and Public Service
12th of November, 2014 Pathcare Lab Exemplary Award Pathcare Laboratories
November 15, 2014 GMD Distinguished Service Award Guild of Medical Directors, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja
November 19, 2014 NAMF Commemorative Plague Nigerian American Medical Foundation
30th of November, 2014 The Sun Nigeria’s Hero 2014 Award The Sun Awards
December 1, 2014 SEC Integrity Award Security and Exchange Commission (SEC)
11th December, 2014 IMC N0. 1 Humanitarian Everyone Should Know About International Medical Corps, United Kingdom (UK)
December 22, 2014 Woman Who Shaped 2014 The Guardian
December 23, 2014 No. 1 Global Thinker of 2014 Lo Spazio della Politica
December 23, 2014 CNN Leading Woman 2014 Cable News Network (CNN)
December 31, 2014 Person of The year 2014 Ekekeee
January 4, 2015 Nigerian of The Year Award National Infinity Magazine
17th January, 2015 Doctor of Science (Honouris causa) NOUN
March 11, 2015 FBN First Woman Award First bank of Nigeria
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ECOWAS Prize of Excellence Award and cash

In 2018, Ameyo Adadevoh was again honoured posthumously with The 2018 ECOWAS Prize of Excellence. The former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan was also honoured.

President Muhammadu Buhari presented the award to her family in Abuja at the 55 Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government.

Her son Bankole Cardoso led other family members to receive the award which went with it $10, 000 cash prize, The Punch reported.

Lessons from Ameyo Adadevoh’s life

She sacrificed her life so that millions of Nigerians would live, leading to her death on August 19, 2014, while her remains were cremated by the government in response to the containment of the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease.

She could have left Patrick Sawyer to continue to his conference, the late medical doctor knew the implication and restricted him from doing so thereby preventing him from having a full-blown epidemic.

Ameyo Adadevoh is a courageous woman and would forever be remembered for her selfless service to the medical profession and the entire Nigerians.

Continue to rest in peace. You’re a hero…even in death.



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