About Careers MedBlog Contact us

WHO Accused of Delay in Declaring Ebola Outbreak a Health Emergency

by Dr. Trupti Shirole on December 4, 2014 at 5:08 PM
Font : A-A+

WHO Accused of Delay in Declaring Ebola Outbreak a Health Emergency

The World Health Organization has been accused of dithering in reacting to the deadly Ebola epidemic, by the Belgian microbiologist, Peter Piot who co-discovered the Ebola virus.

In an interview to Doha-based broadcaster Al Jazeera, Peter Piot who is director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said, "It took three months for the WHO to find out there was an Ebola outbreak. That I understand. Guinea had a poor laboratory infrastructure. I have much more of a problem with the fact that it took five months for WHO - for the international health regulations committee, for that's what it is - to declare this a state of emergency. It took too long. We wasted too much precious time."


Authorities in Guinea and the WHO declared on March 24, 2014 that since January the west African country had recorded 87 suspected cases of viral hemorrhagic fever, including 61 deaths. Scientists who were studying samples in the French city of Lyon also confirmed it was Ebola. However, the WHO did not declare the outbreak a 'public health emergency of international concern' until August 8, 2014.

In Piot's opinion the response to Ebola needed to address both the lack of robust healthcare systems and the cultural habits and belief systems prevalent in the affected countries. He also blamed the mass hysteria in North America which led to quarantine of people returning from west Africa as a major deterrent and disincentive for supporting the countries in west Africa.

The Ebola outbreak has claimed 6,070 lives, according to the latest WHO update, with the vast majority of deaths in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Source: Medindia


Recommended Reading

Latest Tropical Disease News

Oral Cholera Vaccine Launched in India by Pharma Giants
Mumbai's TechInvention Lifecare and South Korean Eubiologics team up to introduce oral cholera vaccine in India after successful phase III clinical trial.
Evolving Threat of Dengue Virus in India
Scientists have found that the dengue virus has become more severe in India, highlighting the urgent need for vaccines that target the strains found in the country.
 Watch Out for Acute Kidney Disease as a Complication of Malaria
It is important to consider malarial infection in cases of acute kidney injury in someone with a travel history from endemic areas to improve treatment outcomes.
India's Malaria Vaccine Gets the Green Light for First Time in Ghana
Ghana approves the use of the University of Oxford's malaria vaccine, produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII), becoming the first country to adopt the new vaccine.
 Deadly Dengue Virus Hijacks Mosquito Saliva to Spread Sickness
The dengue virus combines molecules from its RNA with mosquito saliva to foil the human immune system and spread dengue fever and related diseases.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close

WHO Accused of Delay in Declaring Ebola Outbreak a Health Emergency Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests