Thousands of lives were lost needlessly due to the world’s slow reaction to the West Africa Ebola outbreak, according to a scathing new critique from Médecins Sans Frontières? (MSF), released on the 1-year anniversary of the first confirmed case.
“The Ebola outbreak has often been described as a perfect storm: a cross-border epidemic in countries with weak public health systems that had never seen Ebola before," said Christopher Stokes, MSF's general director, in the report.
"Yet this is too convenient an explanation. For the Ebola outbreak to spiral this far out of control required many institutions to fail. And they did, with tragic and avoidable consequences.”
Ebola’s death toll exceeding 10,200 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since March 2014.
Branding the international response as a ‘global coalition of inaction,’ the report zeros in on the WHO’s dismissal of MSF’s early warnings as ‘alarmist,’ the West African governments that downplayed the epidemic initially or failed to share crucial information, and describes the horrendous decisions MSF and others had to make in turning away patients.
Thomson Reuters Foundation