GENEVA – Washington and Brussels joined with other Western capitals on Friday to call for “full commitment” from the World Health Organization to reform, after a damning report detailed rape and sexual abuse by its workers sent to fight Ebola in DR Congo.
“The governments of Australia, Canada, the European Union and its member states, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States of America… expect full commitment from the WHO to prevent and address such acts, including through fundamental reforms to the WHO,” the governments said in a joint statement.
Calling it a “dark day for WHO”, the UN body’s chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had on Tuesday told victims he was “sorry” and that it was “top priority that the perpetrators are not excused but held to account”.
On Friday, the member state governments said that “we will ensure that the WHO leadership’s commitments lead to accountability, increased capability, action, and swift change”, calling for an “immediate, thorough and detailed assessment” of what went wrong.
The report centred on accusations against local and international personnel deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo to fight an Ebola outbreak from 2018 to 2020.
It cited “individual negligence that may amount to professional misconduct”.
The authors also said they found “clear structural failures and unpreparedness to manage the risks of incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse” in the poor central African country.
Among the 83 suspects identified, 21 were employed by the WHO.
Four have had their contracts terminated and are banned from future employment at the WHO, while two senior staff have been placed on administrative leave.
The agency will also refer rape allegations to the Congolese authorities and those of other concerned states, Tedros said.
more recommended stories
WHO suspends hydroxychloroquine trial
The World Health Organization has temporarily.
First Ebola relapse recorded in Congo outbreak, WHO says
Health officials in eastern Congo have.
Scientists say they found a cure for HIV in some mice, humans could be next
Researchers say they have removed HIV.
WHO likely to declare Ebola an international emergency -experts
The World Health Organization (WHO) should.
South African 9 year old child ‘virtually cured’ of HIV
A nine-year-old infected with HIV at.
More than 1,500 people killed by cholera in Yemen: WHO
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says.
Enjoying regular sex ‘can help prevent heart disease’ – but there’s bad news for ladies
Enjoying regular sex can help reduce.
Majority of people are having sex in airports instead of on planes
Joining the mile high club may.