BY Adaora Okoli —
When I contracted Ebola virus disease in August 2014 while working as a medical doctor in a well-known private hospital in Lagos, Nigeria, I was denied access to a potential cure.
For 15 days, I battled for my life in a debilitated isolation ward, not knowing if I would survive. But American aid workers who contracted Ebola were administered Zmapp, a monoclonal antibody treatment, which reduces the relative risk of death from Ebola by 40% as well as shorten the duration of stay in the Ebola treatment units. They survived.
We were told that Zmapp was expensive, in limited supply and only reserved for a few people. Although Zmapp missed the mark of effectiveness as a cure, its benefits could not be denied when compared to the standard of care alone at the time.
Imagine fighting the same disease but not having equal access to the available tools.