Men work near a tent of a field hospital set up for training purposes, in the Pedro Kouri Tropical Medicine Institute, where Cuban doctors train for their Ebola mission, in Havana October 17, 2014. (REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa)
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The World Health Organization bungled efforts to halt the spread of Ebola in West Africa, an internal report revealed Friday, as President Barack Obama named a trusted political adviser to take control of America's frenzied response to the epidemic.With Secretary of State John Kerry renewing pleas for a "collective, global response" to a disease that has already killed more than 4,500 people in Africa, the WHO draft report pointed to serious errors by an agency designated as the international community's leader in coordinating response to outbreaks of disease.It pointed out that the heads of its country offices in Africa are "politically motivated appointments" made by the WHO regional director for Africa, Dr. Luis Sambo, who does not answer to the agency's chief in Geneva, Dr. Margaret Chan.After WHO declared Ebola an international health emergency in August, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stepped in and had the United Nations take overall responsibility for fighting and eliminating the virus, among other things setting up an emergency response mission based in Ghana. The White House said he would serve as "Ebola response coordinator," suggesting his key role will be to synchronize the actions of many government agencies in combatting the disease.
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