Thursday, 23 October 2014

Ebola: Cuban doctors arrive Liberia



A plane carrying some 50 Cuban doctors and nurses arrived in Liberia on Wednesday to help treat victims of Ebola in the West African country, Reuters reports.

An Air Cubana jet carrying the 51 medical staff touched down at Monrovia's Roberts International Airport. Another group of around 40 doctors from the communist-led Caribbean island were due to arrive in neighbouring Guinea on Wednesday.

A top Cuban health official has voiced hope that collaboration in fighting Ebola could help thaw relations between Cuba and the United States, long-time adversaries.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry singled out the Cuban effort in West Africa for praise last week. 
Cuba is sending the largest medical contingent to West Africa from any country in the world. Cuban authorities have trained 461 doctors and nurses but so far only 256 have been sent on missions, which are scheduled to last six months.

The first group of 165 doctors and nurses deployed to Sierra Leone at the start of October. The final 205 medical staff remain in Cuba awaiting an assignment which will depend on funding from the United Nations, an invitation from the host countries and suitable infrastructure on the ground as determined by the World Health Organization.

The United States is sending 3,000 military engineers, medical personnel and other troops to the region to build Ebola Treatment Units and help train local medical staff to use them.

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