WHO promises reforms after 'slow and insufficient' Ebola response
- Officials at the World Health Organization (WHO) are conceding that the agency was not aggressive enough about alerting the world of the Ebola threat, Reuters reports.
- The WHO also noted that it made other mistakes, such as not working effectively in collaboration with partners to abate the crisis and a general confusion around roles and responsibilities.
- The statement, which was attributed to Director-General Margaret Chan, as well other directors, listed eight lessons learned and was a response to a broad criticism that the WHO's response was partially responsible for the scale of the crisis.
The statistics related to the largest, most deadly Ebola outbreak ever—which started in late 2013—are dire enough to elicit soul-searching everywhere. All told, there were more than 25,000 cases of Ebola and 10,000 deaths related to the crisis.
WHO concedes that it deals much better with small and mid-sized cases, but was completely overwhelmed by the catastrophic scale of the Ebola crisis. However, in January, the General Assembly adopted a resolution in which major reforms will be implemented, including the creation of a 1,000-person emergency reserve force, as well as a rapid-response force.
In addition, the WHO is setting up a contingency fund to guarantee disaster preparedness.