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MSF asks where was WHO in Ebola
outbreak?
2014-10-07 08:09
Dakar – In the first days of the Ebola
outbreak in West Africa, as aid workers
and health authorities battled to contain
the deadly virus, Mariano Lugli asked
himself a simple question: where was
the World Health Organisation?
Lugli, an Italian nurse, was among the
first responders from medical charity
Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) to
reach the remote forests of Guinea in
March where the haemorrhagic fever –
one of the most lethal diseases known
to man – was detected.
When the epidemic spread to the capital
Conakry, Lugli set up a second Ebola
clinic there. He encountered a foreign
medic and a logistician sent by the UN
health agency but saw no sign of a WHO
official in charge of handling the
escalating outbreak.
“In all the meetings I attended, even in
Conakry, I never saw a representative of
the WHO,” said Lugli, deputy director of
operations for MSF Switzerland. “The
co-ordination role that WHO should be
playing, we just didn’t see it. I didn’t
see it the first three weeks and we didn’t
see it afterwards.”
The worst outbreak of Ebola on record
has killed more than 3 400 people in
four West African countries and spread
to the United States, where the first case
was confirmed in Dallas this week.

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