The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the three West Africa countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, was declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a public health event of international concern in August 2014. The disease, which has caused more than 10,000 deaths from over 25,000 cases, has thrived on a failed disease control system, national denial, and a poor and fragile healthcare delivery system. The slow and initially uncoordinated national and global response turned the outbreak into an unprecedented humanitarian disaster. Prevention and control of future outbreaks depend on improving and upgrading disease surveillance into a responsive component of a reliable and efficient health care delivery system. Appropriate capacity building with a conducive operating environment, which has been lacking in the past few decades, will be key to the health system strengthening.