Last year's Ebola outbreak exposed the World Health Organization as deeply inadequate to respond to major public health crises, an independent panel found in a new report posted online Sunday.

The WHO, which operates as the public health arm of the United Nations, and other international aid groups fell so short in their response to the epidemic in West Africa that it "resulted in needless suffering and death, social and economic havoc, and a loss of confidence in national and global institutions," wrote the panel of experts created by the Harvard Global Health Institute and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

The outbreak of the often-fatal disease resulted in more than 11,000 deaths in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone in fall 2014, and isolated cases are still appearing sporadically in those countries.

The latest report on the WHO sharply criticizes the organization for failing to respond quickly and efficiently to an outbreak that could have been better contained with better coordination, information-sharing and accountability.

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