- Title: WHO "too slow" to respond to Ebola, outgoing leader Chan says
- Date: 22nd May 2017
- Summary: BERLIN, GERMANY (FILE - AUGUST 11, 2014) (REUTERS) MEDICAL TEAM MEMBERS DECONTAMINATING EACH OTHER MONROVIA, LIBERIA (FILE - SEPTEMBER 1, 2014) (REUTERS) EBOLA HEALTH WORKERS IN PROTECTIVE SUITS WHO HAVE COME TO TAKE AWAY ESCAPED EBOLA PATIENT GETTING OUT OF VEHICLE AND FOLLOWING PATIENT ESCAPED EBOLA PATIENT (RED SHIRT) WALKING AS HEALTH WORKERS IN PROTECTIVE SUITS WALK ALONGSIDE HIM AND TALKING TO HIM KOIDU, SIERRA LEONE (FILE - DECEMBER 18, 2014) (REUTERS) CROWD LOOKING AT BODY LYING IN THE STREET BODY
- Embargoed: 5th June 2017 16:20
- Keywords: virus outbreak Ebola World Health Organization Margaret Chan
- Location: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / BERLIN, GERMANY / MONROVIA, LIBERIA / KOIDU, SIERRA LEONE / MADRID, SPAIN
- City: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / BERLIN, GERMANY / MONROVIA, LIBERIA / KOIDU, SIERRA LEONE / MADRID, SPAIN
- Country: Switzerland
- Topics: Government/Politics,United Nations
- Reuters ID: LVA0036HX926F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES
Outgoing World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan, whose successor will be elected on Tuesday (May 23), said on Monday (May 22) the U.N. health agency's response to fight the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, in which more than 11,300 people were killed in three different countries, was too slow.
The outbreak began in December 2013 in West Africa, affecting the three countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, during nearly 20 months.
The WHO was under the fire of critics from many NGOs, such as Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres), which denounced its slow response despite urgent calls for the organisation to act.
In May 2014, MSF announced a serious epidemic was ongoing and that they needed the international community and organisation to deploy more staff. But it was not until August 2014 that the WHO declared the outbreak an international public health emergency.
Chan, who has fronted the organisation for ten years, said she was "personally accountable" for this failure, but added it had led to the reform of the U.N. agency as well as the development of the first Ebola vaccine and new Health Emergencies programmes.
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