Liberia passes two 21-day incubation cycles with no new Ebola cases, passing the threshold for declaring the country’s epidemic to be over. This has led the WHO to declare West Africa’s Ebola epidemic to be over as well, although the organization cautions that the region may still see flare-ups. Ebola killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa during the epidemic, which began in late 2013. WHO chief Chan:
So much was needed and so much was accomplished by national authorities, heroic health workers, civil society, local and international organizations and generous partners.
A 28 page report by a panel led by Dame Stocking says the World Health Organisation unable to handle public health emergencies judging from its performance in the Ebola epidemic. The report suggests fault in WHO’s financial preparedness, reliance on diplomacy, and lack of decisive actions by director general Chan. Furthermore, the report recommends regional and country representatives to play a more active role in pushing their governments to take immediate action to epidemics; this is in response to WHO’s delayed declaration of an Ebola crisis only after the death of 1,000 people.
WHO does not currently possess the capacity or organisational culture to deliver a full emergency public health response.
WHO accepts the report’s criticism and prepares improvements to its workforce and financial reserves. Medecins Sans Frontieres Dr. Liu:
The question is how will this translate into real action on the ground in future outbreaks?