Talking to the World Health Organization's 194 member states at the start of the organization's annual 9-day assembly, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the WHO needs to have a more streamlined management to enable it to respond more quickly to crises like the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

WHO director-general Margaret Chan and the rest of the organization have come under fire for their slow response to Ebola, which started in December 2013 in Guinea but was not declared a public health emergency until around August 2014. Merkel said that the international community should have reacted earlier. To ensure that all officials and regional offices know what to do in the event of a crisis, the German chancellor is convinced that acting swiftly and having a clear command structure in place are necessary.

"The WHO is the only international organization that has universal political legitimacy on global health issues. This is why it is so important to render its structures more efficient," she added.

In an effort to aid developing countries improve their defenses against infectious diseases, Germany will also be contributing about $227 million, including almost $80 million directly intended for West Africa. Ebola cases have indeed dwindled in the region but have not been completely stamped out, except in Liberia, which had just completed a 42-day period without new cases.

Additionally, Germany will also be helping countries build up their health systems to tackle not just epidemics but to confront as well a slew of neglected tropical diseases that continue to affect some 1.4 billion people around the world.

According to Merkel, Germany is also keen on prioritizing efforts to ensure that antibiotics are effective in treating humans and animals alike, and also to battle anti-microbial resistance buildup that grows because of overuse.

Asked by a reporter if she had been asked to resign or had considered resigning, Chan said nobody did, adding "as a responsible leader, you need to learn lessons and make the right changes."

Chan was elected to her post as director-general for the WHO in 2006. She said the organization was overwhelmed by the Ebola outbreak, which accounts for the many pitfalls that could have been avoided, and had these problems been avoided, Ebola perhaps would not have gone on to kill over 11,000 people in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

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