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[Comment] Offline: “Our systems simply couldn’t cope”

“Ebola was an enormous stress test on the organisation.” Last week Ian Smith, Executive Director of the Director-General’s Office at WHO, led an internal discussion among staff about the painful lessons to be learned by the agency from the Ebola virus disease outbreak. It was an extraordinary gathering in Salle A on the first floor of WHO’s headquarters in Geneva. WHO was beginning a conversation with itself about why, in the words of the Ebola Interim Assessment Panel, “early warnings…did not result in an effective and adequate response”.