Dr Ekaete Udokafah, one of the five index COVID-19 cases in Akwa Ibom State, has fully recovered from the virus.
Dr Ekaete Udokafah, an anesthesia specialist, contracted the disease from US-based medical doctors who had visited Akwa Ibom in March for an outreach.
She was one of the volunteers during the outreach in the Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area of the state which took place from March 9th to 13th.
The mother-of-four and one of her sons tested positive for COVID-19 on April 1st.
Dr Ekaete Udokafah who’s happily married and a grandmother too, in a video testimony, thanks God, the government of Akwa Ibom State and the COVID-19 team.
She says “In the month of March, a team came from the United States for a free medical treatment in Ibesikpo.”
“I happened to be one of the volunteers. We were all fine and there was no problem. But after the outreach, I came down with symptoms of COVID-19. I treated myself for malaria and the symptoms appeared to have abated but it was still persistent and I didn’t understand.”
“I have never been an asthmatic. I lost appetite. I lost my sense of smell. Even at this time, there was no case in Akwa Ibom State, and worse, nobody believed in Akwa Ibom State that there was [any case of COVID-19.”
“I needed to test to ascertain that it was indeed the disease. And when I had information that one of the medical workers who came for the outreach had tested positive [for COVID-19] I was afraid because seeing what had been going on in Italy, people dying, I was terribly afraid. I thought of how my husband was gonna lose two people.”
“There were so many things on my mind, but when the test result came out I had developed some sort of confidence. God gave me confidence that nothing will happen to me. That this sickness is not unto death.”
“Immediately the result came out, the head of public health in Akwa Ibom called me and said ‘Ma’am the result is out, you’re positive and your son is positive’, at this time my mind was already settled, so the fear was gone.”
On her experience at the isolation centre, Ibom Multi-Speciality Hospital, she said: “The isolation centre is okay. I think the government and the (COVID-19) team have done a very good job.”
“Knowing that we were in isolation, depression and things like that were bound to come in. But I would say, on the whole, they did very well. They were able to communicate with us. The things we needed were provided and in a nutshell, I would say it was a home away from home.”
Dr Udokafah advised people to take COVID-19 seriously, noting that she would continue to follow health advice as recommended by medical experts.
“COVID-19 is real. I have spoken with many people personally and they don’t seem to believe. I think what I would say to anybody is that we should try and prevent [the disease] because this COVID-19 is more from aerosol, that is, from the breath.”
“When I left that place [isolation centre] I told myself I will always put on a facemask whether people laugh or not; Because everybody is a suspect until proven otherwise.”
Akwa Ibom has so far confirmed 11 cases of COVID-19, with one death. Three have been discharged, and seven are presently receiving treatment for the disease.