Nigerian doctor, Mcginger Ibeneme MBBS, alias Omenikorobia, was one of the team of doctors that prevented Liberian born Patrick Sawyer from spreading Ebola virus in Nigeria and by implication putting the life of nearly 200 million Nigerians at risk.
After this feat, himself and his team were conscripted to travel to other African countries ravaged by the virus to replicate their Nigerian success. He went, risked his life, almost got infected. But four years down the road, he only has sad stories of abandonment to tell.
Ibeneme took to his twitter handle, @mcginger22 to tell his story.
“Four years later , African Union has remembered to present me and my colleagues with Medal of Honor for stopping Ebola in Nigeria, Sierra Leone , Liberia and Guinea. I dedicate this to Dr Stella A Adedevor and Justina Ejelonu. You guys are the real heroes, you died for us all.
“Nurse Justina Ejelenu worked with Stella and also contracted the disease in the line of duty. She died without doing anything for herself or her family. No one remembers her.
“We arrived Abuja after 6 months of risking our lives in West Africa to stop the menace few days after Jonathan had lost the presidential election in 2015.
“No one paid any attention to us any longer . All the initial plans to honor us was thrown out of the window. The new regime took no interest whatsoever and till today not even a handshake from a local government chairman not to talk of monetary anything.
“Politicians share billions each time they are leaving office after mindless self help to the national purse. Yet those who worked for the nation are never rewarded
“This regime has not as much as said a word to us talk less of recognizing our contributions.
“The day we arrived Sierra Leone everyone was happy , they said we were from Nigeria and we had the magic . They sent us to worse hit areas and we went to duty patriotically. We did our best and Ebola stopped . The country took the whole accolade without even saying a word to us.
“The African Union has casually tossed medals to us without any ceremony. I went to Port Harcourt to pick up my piece from a junior staff of the state ministry of health who asked me to sign off on a piece of paper and be gone.
“There were only two persons in the room . No body bothered with me . It was even the staff who told me that some people who picked up the medal earlier had tested it and that it was not even real gold so is probably worthless
“I spent my money and time to pick a piece of garbage after risking my life for Africa. I felt like a fool while leaving dejectedly.
“This reminds me my experience in the field. An American passed out while we were on duty and I helped to resuscitate him. He was later diagnosed of Ebola and I quarantined myself. Few days later I developed fever and noticed blood in my toilet
“I asked my colleagues to send a letter to African Union that I may have contracted the deadly disease . Till today I never got any response. I stayed in self quarantine for 21 days without a word from Africa that I was fighting for.
“My contemporary was airlifted to USA in a matter of moments but I survived by the grace of God or share luck . Never spoken to . Never tested . Never nothing. Being African is shitty. I don’t know if am a survivor or not . I just know that my life is worth nothing
“I dedicate this medal , though probably worthless to healthcare workers from Africa who died for their continent but were never appreciated or even recognized
“I live in hope that one day our land shall experience the kind of leadership that would value those who sacrifice for her and reward those who make genuine efforts
“For now , am just in severe pains. God bless Africa. God bless Nigeria.”