Ebola returns to Liberia with five recent cases of the disease. Sequencing data show the virus is genetically similar to the past Ebola outbreak. WHO conducts further tests to see if people unknowingly had the virus and explores other possibilities such as sexual transmission.
There are a considerable number of survivors. And we also know that it persists in certain bodily fluids, and that it can subsist for at least six months.
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?