Cuba to Send 300 More Medical Staff to Combat Ebola
September 27, 2014
Cuba already had the biggest foreign medical staff in West Africa to combat the virus, which has killed 3,000 people so far. Cuba pledged 300 more doctors and nurses to battle the Ebola epidemic in West Africa on Friday.
With a staff of over 460 Ebola specialists, Cuba will by far have the largest foreign medical team combating the disease in West Africa. The new batch of Ebola specialists are undergoing intensive training, said head of the Cuban medical relief agency, Regla Angulo.
They will be sent to Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. Cuba, which has about 50,000 health workers stationed across the world, received accolades from the UN and the World Health Organization (WHO) for its effort against Ebola, last week, when it already had the largest foreign medical team fighting the killer virus in West Africa, consisting of 62 doctors and 103 nurses.
The U.S. has sent 3,000 troops to Liberia as part of its response to Ebola, which it considers a matter of national security. In addition, the U.S. pledged 65 clinicians and support staff, to treat infected health care workers, but not civilians.
Cuba's latest decision comes as health experts from 16 European countries petitioned their governments to increase aid to the disease stricken region. "After months of inaction and neglect from the international community, the Ebola epidemic in West Africa has now spiraled utterly out of control," they wrote in an open letter, adding "We urge our governments to mobilize all possible resources to assist West Africa in dealing with this horrific epidemic."
The Ebola epidemic has already claimed about 3,000 lives in West Africa, with the number of infected people to reach 20,000 by November, WHO said.