An Associated Press investigation has found that a string of avoidable errors badly undermined the fight against Ebola in West Africa.
The World Health Organization (WHO), charged with leading the fight against global outbreaks, already has been criticized over its management of the disease-fighting effort.
AdvertisementEarlier this year, an AP investigation found that WHO delayed declaring an international emergency on political and economic grounds. Newly obtained documents show that WHO and other responders failed to organize a strong response even after the signal was issued.
Experts say the bungling ultimately cost lives across West Africa.
"There's no question that a better and earlier response from WHO could have resulted in thousands and thousands of fewer deaths than we saw," said Dr. Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University in New York.
The most widespread epidemic of Ebola virus disease in history is currently ongoing in two West Africa. As of 13 September 2015, the WHO and respective governments have reported a total of 28,256 suspected cases and 11,306 deaths, though this figures substantially understate the magnitude of the outbreak.