A retired doctor passed away on Tuesday due to COVID-19 after working part-time at the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital in Hertfordshire, England.
Dr Alfa Saadu, a 68-year-old physician used to work at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex but decided to retire in 2017. Despite his age, Saadu couldn’t help but continue his passion for helping sick people so he still worked part-time.
According to his son Dani Saadu, his father loved medicine so much that he could not fully retire. He said he was very passionate about his job and his eyes would light up when someone talked about medicine.
Saadu’s dedication and love for medicine sadly led to his death. Amid the coronavirus outbreak, he continued to work at the hospital and helped save lives. He started showing symptoms two weeks ago and his family insisted to take him to the hospital. However, Saadnu refused, saying there were more people who need it.
His son said that his dad had been fighting the virus for two weeks but he could not hold on anymore. He also mentioned that NHS did everything they could and did an amazing job for the COVID-19 patients.
Lance McCarthy, chief executive of the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust extended his sympathies to Saadu’s family. “Alfa was well-known at the trust for his passion for ensuring our patients received high-quality care. He was a committed member of the team and is remembered fondly by many. His family and friends are in our thoughts at this sad time.”
Dr Alfa Saanu was a well-known doctor not only in the UK but also in Africa. The retired doctor grew up in Nigeria’s Kwara state and moved to England when he was 12. While he worked as a doctor in the UK, he taught at a hospital in Nigeria, lecturing people in the world of medicine.
Dr Saanu’s success didn’t stop him from looking back at his roots. He was the chairman of Kwasang UK, an association for the displacement from Kwara where he grew up.
Former Nigerian Senate president Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki expressed his condolences on Twitter.
He wrote, “My condolences go to the family of late Dr Alfa Sa’adu, the people of Pategi and Kwara State on the death of the foremost medical practitioner who passed away in London this morning. Late Dr Sa’adu provided leadership for our people in the diaspora as he served for many years as Chairman, Kwara State Association of Nigeria (Kwasang UK). Back at home, he was a community leader and traditional office holder as Galadima of Pategi. He will be sorely missed.”
Dr Saadu was the fourth medical practitioners in the UK who died after contracting COVID-19 at work. Other doctors who passed away due to the virus were Dr Amged El-Hawrani in Leicester, Dr Habib Zaidi in Southend and Dr Adil El Tayar in west London.
Salute to these medical practitioners who didn’t mind exposing themselves to the virus to help save lives.
To all the healthcare practitioners and frontliners in the world, you are our heroes in this battle. We will never forget your sacrifices.