How we treated Ebola patients with no drugs or vaccines – Prof. Akin Osibogun, CMD, LUTH
How was that possible without vaccines or drugs?
We needed to understand what was the pathophysiology of the virus. I mean what it causes in the body. Once there is a high fever, the patient starts losing water, fluid and electrolytes because the high fever drains the fluid. Once there is diarrhea and vomiting, the patient loses even more fluid and electrolytes and the patient starts going down. By the time it gets to the stage that the patient is bleeding, you have lost that patient, because he has lost so much. But if you catch them early and as they are losing the fluid, you are replacing the fluid, not necessarily IV, just put a lot of oral dehydration therapy with the patient and be encouraging him to be drinking it, you are replacing the fluid being lost and got them healed without vaccine.
The pri cipal thing is the fluid and electrolyte power which will buy the body sometime. The body itself is a soldier, fighting the virus, but it is at a disadvantage when it is losing fluid and electrolytes. You also need to encourage the patient, since it was not easy to ask somebody to be drinking, considering there is already fear, panic and so on. So, that is why we add the pyscho aspect to encourage the patient. Some patients may benefit from infusion but those are the extreme, if they start bleeding to see if you could win some of them. But the big lesson which I took away from the Ebola importation into the country is that if we are determined as a people, we will achieve results, and where we work as a team, we will achieve results.
Because you could see where the federal and states worked together with a common objective and leaving politics out of it and allowing the professionals to do their job, we were able to achieve results.
How many can you recall were saved at the end of the whole crisis?
I think about seven survived. I think five visited Governor Fashola recently. I think we also lost about five Nigerians and the index case.
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