The World Health Organization promised on Saturday that it would publish a full review of its handling of the Ebola crisis once the outbreak was under control, in response to a leaked document that appeared to acknowledge it had failed to do enough.
The WHO said in a statement that it would not comment on an internal document cited in an Associated Press story on Friday, saying it was a first draft that had not been fact-checked and was "part of an on-going analysis of our response''.
``We cannot divert our limited resources from the urgent response to do a detailed analysis of the past response. That review will come, but only after this outbreak is over,'' the organization said.
The WHO has been widely criticized for its slow response to the epidemic and its early reassurances, despite repeated public warnings from the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres, which was leading the fight against the virus on the ground.
Ebola has killed at least 4,546 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the WHO said on Friday. However, with at least half the cases going unreported and a 70 percent fatality rate, by WHO estimates, the true toll is probably more than 12,000.
There is no sign of a slowdown in the outbreak, which was first confirmed in May but not declared to be an international public health emergency by WHO until Aug 8.
WHO Director General Margaret Chan has defended her handling of the epidemic.
But the internal document cited by AP said experts should have realized that traditional containment methods wouldn't work in a region with porous borders and broken health systems.
``Nearly everyone involved in the outbreak response failed to see some fairly plain writing on the wall,'' the document said.
It also said WHO bureaucracy was also to blame, with WHO's Africa head, Luis Sambo, appointed by African member countries, not by Chan. Sambo's tenure is ending at the end of this year.
In the earlier stages of the outbreak, messages from Sambo's office were sometimes out of step with the line from Geneva.