ASSOCIATED PRESS by Marian Cheng Jan. 25, 2015
GENEVA — The World Health Organization is debating how to reform itself after botching the response to the Ebola outbreak, a sluggish performance that experts say cost thousands of lives.
On Sunday, WHO's executive board planned to discuss proposals that could radically transform the United Nations health agency in response to sharp criticism over its handling of the West Africa epidemic.
"The Ebola outbreak points to the need for urgent change," said Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO's director-general. She acknowledged that WHO was too slow to grasp the significance of the Ebola outbreak, which is estimated to have killed more than 8,600 people, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
"The groundswell of dissatisfaction and lack of trust in WHO over Ebola has reached such a crescendo that unless there is fundamental reform, I think we might lose confidence in WHO for a generation," said Lawrence Gostin, director of the WHO Collaborating Center on Public Health Law and Human Rights at Georgetown University.
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