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Film eulogises Adadevoh, Adefarasin urges sacrifice


Paul Adefarasin

Paul Adefarasin

The Senior Pastor of all House on the Rock Churches, Pastor Paul Adefarasin, has said that Nigerians need to inculcate the best value system possible to reshape and transform the country to one of “our dream”.

The man of God spoke at the premiere of Steve Gukas film, 93 Days, on Tuesday.

The premiere, which is in collaboration with Natives FilmWorks, Michelangelo Productions and the Bolanle Austen- Peters Production, is part of the church’s campaign to promote a purposeful leadership in Nigeria.

Adefarasin said: “Our mission is to work together with everyone that is invested in building a transformed nation, a better Nigeria, and this essence ties strongly into the courage displayed by Dr. Stella Adadevoh and her colleagues who brought hope to a nation that was being threatened by devastation, at the expense of their own lives. This is the kind of love and sacrifice that can truly bring transformation to all.”

Starring Bimbo Akintola, Danny Glover, Tim Reid, Somkele Idhalama, Keppy Ekpenyong Gideon Okeke and other talented actors, the film is a compelling story of dedication, sacrifice and resilience, which celebrates the courage shown by the First Consultant Medical Team, the Lagos State and Federal Governments and well-meaning organisations in combating the Ebola virus, which broke out early 2014 in Nigeria.

The film captures the story of a gentleman who entered Nigeria with a commercial flight from Liberia on Wednesday, July 20, 2014. His entry through the Murtala Muhammed Airport was ordinary, even unremarkable.

Five days later, this gentleman, who arrived from the epicenter of the Ebola epidemic in Liberia, succumbed to the assault of the dreaded virus and died in a private hospital on the Lagos Island. The death of Nigeria’s index patient marked the beginning of a harrowing 13 weeklong saga for all Lagosians and invariably all the residents of Nigeria.

The index patient triggered a chain of transmission that would claim the life of seven more out of a total of 19 infected persons. From this individual, infectious disease experts generated a list of 989 contacts. The sheer impact of an Ebola epidemic on a city of 21 million people would have been nothing short of apocalyptic.

He said, “Nigeria’s healthcare professionals rose to the occasion and demonstrated their proficiency, adherence to protocols and ability to contain and defuse a virulent time bomb. We must applaud these exemplary citizens who deserve our utmost, unreserved commendation.”

As advocated by the World Health Organisation, to prevent potential outbreaks in the future, Nigeria must develop strong surveillance systems, rapid response capacity and effective survivor care and screening. Our healthcare systems must be “continually guided by an all-hazards health emergency approach,” even as we ensure that our health workforce is developed, trained, retained and reskilled to prepare for and respond to emergencies with health consequences.

Scrupulous sanitising, vigilant and meticulous port-of-entry screening and rapid isolation won the battle against the virus suspected infected persons. 18,500 painstaking ‘in person’ follow-up visits were completed in the search to find any new cases of Ebola among the identified contacts. Such ground-level work was extreme, and the World Health Organisation, usually measured in its remarks, described the feat as “a piece of world-class epidemiological detective work”.

Bimbo Akintola portrays the late Dr. Stella Adadevoh, who worked with her younger colleagues, and whose early detection of the disease in a patient and insistence on treating him, contributed greatly to limiting the spread of the disease in the country.

This movie has the central themes of triumph, heroism and a country’s determination to rise above the storm.

The film also highlights the rapid response of the Lagos State government and its collaboration with other well-meaning organisations in combating the virus. Thus, this notable event is themed: The Power of collaboration.

It will be the third movie premiere of the renowned church. Last year, it premiered Selma and Captive, which featured award -winning Nigerian actor David Oyelowo.

93 Days is among the selected Nigerian films being screened at the ongoing Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

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