The WHO Director-General has commissioned a panel of outside independent experts to undertake an assessment on all aspects of WHO’s response in the Ebola outbreak. This is in response to a resolution passed during the Ebola Special Session of the Executive Board in January 2015.
As CBC News reports, The Geneva-based United Nations health agency was sharply criticized for failing to heed repeated warnings by the medical charity Médcins Sans Frontières in the early days of the epidemic, which quickly grew to become the largest in history.
Dame Barbara Stocking will chair the panel. She was formerly Chief Executive of Oxfam GB (2001-13) and during this time led major humanitarian responses. Currently she is President of Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge, UK.
The other panel members are: Professor Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfun, Director-General of the National Institute for Biomedical Research, Democratic Republic of the Congo; Dr Faisal Shuaib, Head of the National Ebola Emergency Operations Center, Nigeria; Dr Carmencita Alberto-Banatin, independent consultant and advisor on health emergencies and disasters, Philippines; Professor Julio Frenk, Dean of the Faculty, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; and Professor Ilona Kickbusch, Director of the Global Health Programme at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland.
The panel will present a first progress report on its work to the 68th World Health Assembly in May 2015.
The latest Ebola case count from the three countries with widespread and intense transmission shows that there have been over 23 900 reported confirmed, probable, and suspected cases cases of EVD in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with over 9800 reported deaths (outcomes for many cases are unknown). A total of 51 new confirmed cases were reported in Guinea, 0 in Liberia, and 81 in Sierra Leone in the 7 days to 1 March.