MISSTEPS

Report: WHO Botched Ebola Rapid Response

An Associated Press report Sunday revealed that the World Health Organization struggled to organize a rapid response to the Ebola outbreak after a global health emergency was declared in Sierra Leone, costing lives across West Africa. Documents and recordings of conference calls obtained by the AP show the response was bungled by logistical problems and infighting. Responders were given defective batches of chlorine and supplies were often so scarce that aid workers ran out of body bags, which would help protect them from exposure to highly contagious disease. Confusion between Sierra Leone’s government and WHO also delayed the construction of a new treatment clinic to help deal with the influx of patients. Workers sometimes resorted to using ill-fitting gloves to protect their hands and plastic packaging instead of heavy-duty footwear, according to the report.