WHO chief: Ebola a 'wake-up call' for member governments

AP News
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Posted: Oct 20, 2015 10:08 AM
WHO chief: Ebola a 'wake-up call' for member governments

GENEVA (AP) — The director-general of the World Health Organization says the Ebola crisis in West Africa should serve as a "wake-up call" for member states to do more to prevent deadly disease outbreaks before they occur.

Dr. Margaret Chan noted 30 percent of staffers in a WHO preparedness division were cut after the 2008 financial crisis and funding has remained insufficient since then, despite recommendations to increase support after the swine flu pandemic.

Chan said the Ebola outbreak amounted to a "second wake-up call" and told reporters Tuesday: "I hope this time member states do not miss the opportunity."

Weak leadership, shoddy supplies and infighting worsened the battle against the virus that has killed some 11,000 people mainly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and WHO has been criticized for its response.