World Health Organisation admits botching Ebola response

World(?) Health Organization

The World Health Organisation has admitted it botched attempts to stop the now-spiralling Ebola outbreak in West Africa, blaming factors including incompetent staff and a lack of information.

In a draft internal document obtained by The Associated Press, the UN agency wrote that experts should have realised that traditional infectious disease containment methods wouldn’t work in a region with porous borders and broken health systems.

“Nearly everyone involved in the outbreak response failed to see some fairly plain writing on the wall,” WHO said in the document.

The UN health agency acknowledged that, at times, even its own bureaucracy was a problem. It noted that the heads of WHO country offices in Africa are “politically motivated appointments” made by the WHO regional director for Africa, Dr. Luis Sambo, who does not answer to the agency’s chief in Geneva, Dr. Margaret Chan.

WHO is the UN’s specialised health agency, responsible for setting global health standards and coordinating the global response to disease outbreaks.

Dr. Peter Piot, the co-discoverer of the Ebola virus, agreed in an interview Friday that WHO acted far too slowly, largely because of its Africa office.

“It’s the regional office in Africa that’s the front line,” he said at his office in London. “And they didn’t do anything. That office is really not competent.”

Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, also questioned why it took WHO five months and 1000 deaths before the agency declared Ebola an international health emergency in August.

“I called for a state of emergency to be declared in July and for military operations to be deployed,” Piot said. But he said WHO might have been scarred by its experience during the 2009 swine flu pandemic, when it was slammed for hyping the situation.

The Ebola outbreak already has killed 4484 people in West Africa and WHO says within two months, there could be new 10,000 cases of Ebola every week unless more and stronger measures to fight the outbreak are taken.

© AP 2014
Source: 
http://www.9news.com.au/health/2014/10/18/03/22/who-admits-botching-ebola-response#2Wiz4mTgf4ryh2pf.99

Let us know what you think. Leave a comment below.
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *