World Health Organization Director General

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TO: World Health Organization Director-General: Dr. Margaret Chan FROM: World Health Organization Deputy Director, Department of Emergency Risk Management and Humanitarian Response: Nicholas Lawson SUBJECT: Getting ahead of the curve: Future Ebola Virus (EBOV) engagement. DATE: 10/26/14 Introduction To date in the 2014 Ebola Virus (EBOV) outbreak in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, 4818 people (60% of the laboratory confirmed cases) have died. Over 13,500 cases have been reported. Included in the mortality figures are more than 400 medical staff. The effect of the outbreak on the region’s already fragile health infrastructure has been catastrophic. Access to basic preventable medical conditions such malaria, diarrhea and respiratory…show more content…
In August all medical structures were ordered closed for several weeks due to the infection rate in health care workers. Nationwide, curfews and community quarantines have been implemented. More globally, there have been 26 travel associated cases and 10 deaths. Widespread confusion and an element of fear has distracted the developed world from prioritizing critical support to the West African region. On August 8th 2014, following the Emergency Committee meeting convened under the International Health Regulations (IHR) to discuss the outbreak for the first time, we declared that the conditions for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) had been met. This was a full five months after the international community was alerted to the outbreak with a report of 86 cases and a case fatality ratio of 68.5% in Guinea. Repeated warnings and requests for assistance from the governments and the handful of international NGO’s who are handling the bulk of the cases have not been responded to appropriately whether in terms of resources or response times. As the lead health organization charged with responding to global health crises, we have been derelict in our support to these entities, the health systems of the countries affected and most critically to the people who have been infected by the virus. Although there is now some international mobilization to address the current situation, it is
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