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Africa Ebola outbreak could have been averted by following WHO's recommendations

ANI  |  Washington 

Experts have claimed that the Ebola crisis in west could have been averted if governments and agencies had acted on the recommendations of a 2011 Organisation (WHO) Commission on global emergencies.

According to Professor Lawrence Gostin, Faculty Director of the O'Neill Institute for National and Global at Georgetown University, USA, the crisis calls for renewed international commitment to a systems contingency fund to prevent another infectious disease crisis, together with long-term funding for enduring systems development.

Gostin added that if the real reasons the outbreak turned into a tragedy of these proportions are human resource shortages and fragile systems, the solution is to fix these inherent structural deficiencies.

The 2011 WHO Review Committee proposed a Global Emergency Workforce, backed by a US 100 million dollars contingency fund, which would have enabled the rapid initial response needed to contain the Ebola outbreak, but the Commission was not acted upon by WHO, lacking sufficient financial commitment from governments in high-income countries.

Gostin added that the west African Ebola epidemic could spark a badly needed global course correction that would favour strong infrastructure. Sustainable funding scalable to needs for enduring systems is a wise and affordable investment. It is in all states' interests to contain hazards that may eventually travel to their shores. But beyond self-interest are the imperatives of and social justice-a humanitarian response that would work, now and for the future.

The study was published in The Lancet.

First Published: Fri, September 05 2014. 10:26 IST
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