The meeting was held to advise the WHO director-general about whether Ebola remains a public health emergency of global concern, whether current temporary recommendations should be extended and whether new temporary recommendations should be mandated.
The report found that messages sent by experienced regional World Health Organization staff about the seriousness of the epidemic either did not reach senior leaders or were not recognized for their significance. She is now president of Murray Edwards College at the University of Cambridge.
Other experts noted virtually nothing had changed after a similar report was published after WHO’s response to the 2009 swine flu pandemic. On June 29, a new case of Ebola was confirmed in Liberia in the body of a 17-year-old boy, who had died the day before. The panel recommends the plan for the center should be “costed and financed”. “The panel considers this situation, in which the global community does not take seriously its obligations under the worldwide health regulations (2005) – a legally binding document – to be untenable”, the panelists write. The report said it must make urgent “fundamental changes, particularly in terms of leadership and decision-making processes”, with the help of its 194 member states.
“The world simply can not afford another period of inaction until the next health crisis”.
But Stocking said declaring an emergency is a hard decision and there is no intermediate alert stage. It recommends a 5% increase.
The committee said the World Health Organization doesn’t have the capacity or organizational culture to deliver adequate outbreak management.
According to the panel, in Guinea, communities are still not convinced of their own responsibilities with regard to declaring contact with infected patients and ensuring victims are safely buried, making it hard to eliminate the virus.
WHO Assistant Director General for Health Systems and Innovation Marie-Paule Kieny said that donors had pledged $1.4 billion of an estimated $2.1 billion required by the three countries before December 2017.
The Ebola outbreak highlighted the separation between systems for responding to health emergencies and systems for humanitarian response, and WHO agrees they must be better integrated for future emergency responses.
Dame Barbara said changes needed to happen.
The experts also stressed that the 2005 global Health Regulations, agreed by 196 WHO member countries to try to track and control the spread of disease, must be strengthened and properly implemented to allow proper handling of epidemics. As news coverage on the crisis simmers down, Ebola continues to claim lives in the area. Today, the panel released its final report, which reads like a dire assessment of a broken organization in need of immediate fix.
Many humble homes that heavily depend on trading are still suffering severely from the economic hardship inflicted on them by the continuous trade curfew on the whole of Sundays and the evenings of other days of the week.
Liberia has since reported two more cases linked to the first.
In the lead-up to a major fundraising conference for Ebola recovery, the WHO described rebuilding of the national health systems in West Africa as a critical priority. The mystery over the source of the new Ebola case is still a huge task for Health officials in Liberia and perhaps the world.