Ebola Outbreak Highlights Failure Of WHO Leadership
The Lancet: Offline: A pervasive failure to learn the lessons of Ebola
Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet
“…The idea of a perfect system to ‘prepare, detect, and respond to epidemic diseases’ seems a dangerous mirage, an optical illusion caused by the prevailing political conditions — namely, a deep unwillingness to confront the most important cause of the Ebola failure. Which was leadership. … [T]he lesson of Ebola, and of many emerging threats to health, is that [WHO Director-General Margaret Chan’s] informal approach [of communicating directly with heads of state], relying as it does on the integrity of political leaders, is insufficient. WHO should, using the best available evidence, ‘name, blame, and shame.’ Chan’s honorable approach during the Ebola outbreak manifestly failed. … That is the lesson the global health community needs to embrace — and act upon” (9/12).
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