Cuba Ups to 461 MDs to Fight Ebola
HAVANA TIMES — Cuban authorities plan to raise the number of Cuban doctors heading for Africa to fight the ebola outbreak to 461, reported dpa news on Thursday.
The government of Raul Castro had already announced two weeks ago that it would send 165 MDs to West Africa in the near future.
The doctors will work in the West African countries where nearly 3,000 people have already died from the disease, according to the statistics of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Most of the Cubans will arrive to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea in October. It will be the largest medical contingent to be sent to the region so far, notes Prensa Latina.
WHO has made a worldwide call to fight the Ebola outbreak. According to the agency, the death toll rose to 2,917 in West Africa on September 21.
The largest number of fatalities is Liberia (1,677), followed by Guinea (635) and Sierra Leone (597). The number of infected persons registered totaled 6,263 in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal.
WHO fears that the number of infections could soar to 20,000 in West Africa in November if urgent measures are not taken.
14 thoughts on “Cuba Ups to 461 MDs to Fight Ebola”
The first Cuban medical team did not leave for Africa until October 1, 2014
In addition to the US government contribution, there are many US based charities providing workers and money to support missions in Africa to help fight Ebola.
For Cuba, there is only the government mission. There are no private charities.
These Cuban medical teams have a poor sense of direction. Thousands of Cuban medical workers in Venezuela managed to get lost, forgot how to get home to Cuba, and somehow wound up in the USA.
No doubt, everyone in Africa who is suffering from Ebola is arguing about who is the best, most generous helper to them in their misery, Cuba or America. But one thing that perhaps ought to be of some immediate consideration with this massive influx of foreign aid workers, is the very plausible danger that the Ebola strain may be brought into the western hemisphere when some of these aid workers begin to return to their home countries. How is Cuba, or for that matter, America, prepared to deal with that?
I hope that the Cuban medical personnel being sent into this nightmare situation have the proper training, equipment, and protocols in place to prevent the desease from accidentally being introduced into Cuba. After all, even highly trained and properly equipped American and European doctors have contracted this desease from infected patients. ….My prayers go with them.
That is true. The US has enormous resources and capabilities, which are great in times of crisis. However, their attention span is very brief. Domestic political squabbles will undermine the prospects for a serious long term program of assistance.
At the risk of sounding ‘snarky’, this reflects the difference between volunteers and conscripts. Also, it is well to remember that Cuban staff look forward to these “missions” for personal reasons. Even a mission to West Africa will give a Cuban doctor or nurse an opportunity to buy a laptop or several pairs of shoes and maybe even a flat-screen TV to improve his and his family’s life in Cuba. Altruism has little to do with the reasons Cuban medical personnel choose to travel abroad. On the other hand, an American doctor with a cozy suburban practice who takes a year off to help Ebola victims in Liberia is taking a huge cut in pay and personal comfort and his whole family must sacrifice to support his efforts. Still, if I am a victim of Ebola in Sierra Leone and a Cuban doctor attends to my illness, I don’t care what his reasons for helping me are, I am just glad he is doing it.
Per capita the Cuban contribution is far greater. On the other hand the Cubans tend to stay much longer than the US medical teams. That’s the case in all the countries they are assisting or providing paid services.
There is always a political side to it. But any help Cuba sends which saves lives is a generous contribution, whatever the political motives may be.
The US has sent 3000 people to help with the ebola outbreak and has budgeted $500 million to support the effort. That is far more than the Cuban contribution.
I wish these workers well. They are being sent into a horrible, nightmare of a situation.
BFD more than the USA sent!!!!!
I have never been fond of the Cuban government, but their contribution to fight against EBOLA is very significant and likely to save hundreds if not thousands of lives. Regardless of ideology we should applaud their work along with that of Doctors without Borders, the Center for Disease Control, the WHO and others.
There is no need to politicize efforts to mitigate a human tragedy.
Cuba did not send 165 doctors. Cuba sent 165 medical personnel of which 53 were MDs. Likewise, Cuba is not sending an additional 296 doctors. Cuba is sending 296 additional medical staff.
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