WHO Workers Abused Women During Congo Ebola Mission

WHO Workers Abused Women During Congo Ebola Mission

(LibertySociety.com) – To bring universal health coverage to the world’s most vulnerable populations since 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) team uses over 8,000 health experts to treat medical issues and build trusting relationships in needy areas. Unfortunately, recent events and investigations surrounding several doctors’ questionable trips to the Democratic Republic of Congo have begun to erode that trust.

In 2018, the organization deployed its doctors and other staff members to the Democratic Republic of Congo to address a two-year-long Ebola virus outbreak. When they needed more help, they recruited local personnel without proper vetting measures. As a result, many local women were raped and sexually abused by WHO workers, casting a shadow over the organization.

When the agency’s Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, heard of the travesty, he apologized to the dozens of alleged victims, fired the accused, and promised to “reform” the policies and procedures the institution uses to screen workers.

But the damage to the trust between WHO and the communities they serve won’t be easy to mend. Without the confidence that this and other similar groups count on to care for the international community, struggling regions may opt to refuse the help they desperately need to keep their people safe from outsiders.

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