The management and staff of First Consultant Medical Centre (FCMC) were all in a joyful mood on Wednesday as an official of the hospital and an Ebola survivor, Dr. Ada Igonoh, successfully gave birth to a baby girl in the United States.
The Chief Medical Director of the FCMC, Dr. Benjamin Ohiaeri, announced the good news at a press conference yesterday in Lagos and confirmed that the newly delivered baby girl weighing 9.1 pounds, a little above four kilogram, has also been certified free of Ebola by doctors of Greater El-Monte Community Hospital in California, US.
According to experts, the virus can stay in a victim’s semen or body system many months after contracting the disease.
Dr. Igonoh, who is the only female medical doctor to have survived the deadly disease after seven other officials in the hospital had primary contact with the index patient, Patrick Sawyer, gave birth to the baby girl around 12.05a.m local time and 3.05pm California time.
The Ebola survivor, according to Ohiaeri, traveled to California when the pregnancy was 28 weeks for medical care and monitoring, which he said became necessary in view of her status as an Ebola survivor, adding that ongoing research has shown that conception and the carrying of pregnancy to term after surviving Ebola attack was difficult.
He noted that the return of the mother and baby at a future date will be determined by further medical follow up.
“Everything about Dr. Ada has been divine because she survived the deadly virus and started taking care of other colleagues. She also got pregnant and now gave birth. It is all divine intervention.”
He also noted that research was ongoing to give medical explanation to why it was difficult for Ebola survivors to conceive.
Godwin Igonoh, husband to Ada Igonoh, said he has been in touch with his wife since it was confirmed that she had given birth.
Dr. Igonoh was infected with EVD after being exposed to Mr. Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian-American who on arrival at the Lagos airport collapsed. He was admitted at the FCMC in Obalende where he was diagnosed of EVD.
Sawyer, who was without Ebola symptoms at the time of his admission, infected two doctors, a nurse and a ward aide.
“A total of 19 Ebola cases were established in the country, 15 in Lagos and four in Port Harcourt, Rivers State” according to the Federal Ministry of Health.