Diane Abbott

Shadow Secretary of State for International Development

I am sure that the whole House will join me in paying tribute not just to the British health workers and military who went to help the people of west Africa in the last Ebola outbreak, but to all the local health workers who bore the brunt of the campaign against Ebola and the brunt of the deaths.

The Secretary of State will be aware that the International Development Committee report says that the Government were too reliant on the World Health Organisation, which eventually declared an emergency in August 2014, and should have listened to other groups, such as Médecins sans Frontières, which had been warning about Ebola months earlier. Does she agree with the Committee’s Chairman that:

“The international community relied on WHO to sound the alarm for an international emergency on the scale of Ebola. The organisation’s failure to respond quickly enough is now well documented”?

Does the Secretary of State agree that Ebola cannot be seen in isolation and that we have to look at the general issue of access to healthcare in the region and building a resilient health system?

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