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Nigerian man files suit over 'Ebola panic'

Published:Wednesday | February 11, 2015 | 9:49 AM
In this October 2014 file photo, Dr Bob Banjo displays documents to show that he did not have the Ebola virus when he left the region.
Dr Bob Banjo

The Nigerian man at the centre of an Ebola scare at the Mandeville Regional Hospital has filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court against the Jamaican government and the Southern Regional Health Authority.

Lecturer, Dr Bob Banjo is seeking damages for false imprisonment, defamation, unlawful disclosure of patient information and breaches of his constitutional right to privacy.

He has also sued nurse Ann-Marie Allen-Sharpe and Dr Masada James.

In the suit filed by attorneys-at-law Arthur Williams and Ronald Young, Jr Dr Banjo contends that at five o'clock on the morning of October 18, last year, he visited the Mandeville Regional Hospital because he was feeling ill.

He said Dr James asked him if he had travelled recently.

Banjo said he told Dr James that he visited his homeland Nigeria and had returned to Jamaica on August 27, 2014.

He said Dr James immediately told nurse Allen-Sharpe in the presence of other patients and persons at the hospital that he was likely suffering from the Ebola virus.

Dr James then reportedly consulted the Ministry of Health to get instructions as to what to do with him.

There was panic at the hospital according to Dr Banjo because persons thought he was seeking treatment for the highly contagious and infectious Ebola virus.

He claimed that the panic throughout the hospital was caused by the arbitrary, unreasonable and unprofessional conduct of the doctor and the nurse.

Dr Banjo said he received no treatment and when he attempted to leave four hours after his arrival, Dr James reportedly gave instructions to a ward assistant to instruct the security guards that he was not allowed to leave the premises.

He was not permitted to leave the hospital until 3:15 p.m. that day – that's just over ten hours after he arrived there.

The Nigerian further outlined that he was well outside the established 21-day incubation period for the Ebola virus when he visited the hospital.

Banjo also said he suffered great anxiety and distress, as well as loss and was brought into public scandal, ridicule and contempt.

The defendants have not yet filed a defence to the suit.

WATCH: It was bad ... Nigerian bashes Mandeville hospital after Ebola scare

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Jamaica Gleaner

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