News Update: Cuba sends 165 healthcare workers to fight Ebola outbreak
While the Ebola outbreak rages on, the need for health workers in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone has never been higher. As of September 14th, 151 health care workers have died from the disease. Even World Health Organization director Margaret Chan has stated: “Money and materials are important, but those two things alone cannot stop Ebola virus transmission. Human resources are clearly our most important need.”
This is why when I heard about Cuba’s pledge to send 165 doctors and nurses to fight the outbreak in Business Insider, I was impressed by the nation’s response to the crisis. But maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised. This is hardly the first time Cuba has offered aid, in the form of trained medical professionals, in the wake of disaster. Cuba has repeatedly provided earthquake and hurricane assistance for the past fifty years. Currently, 50,000 Cuban healthcare workers are stationed in 66 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
These international efforts are matched by their domestic commitments to public health; Cuba’s health care networks are some of the best staffed in the world.
In many ways Cuba is considered a developing nation, but their economic isolation is not stopping their contributions to global health, or their response to the current Ebola crisis.
Stay tuned for more updates!