Cuban medics available to staff UK Ebola facilities in Sierra Leone

News from Cuba | Monday, 10 March 2014

Cuba and UK cooperating to fight Ebola crisis

The Cuban deputy minister of Public health Mrs Marcia Cobas Ruiz was a special guest at the international conference ‘defeating Ebola in Sierra Leone’ held in London on Thursday.

In her key note address she offered the support of the Cuban medical contingent which already comprises 188 doctors and medics who have arrived in Sierra Leone in the last two days.

‘I would like to express our readiness to work in facilities built by the UK, along with their professionals.’

The idea of Cuban medics using UK facilities to provide first class treatment for sufferers would be a real sign of progress in delivering emergency treatments. It would use the vast skills and experience of the Cuban medical brigades allied with the financial resources that the UK could offer.

The conference was attended by delegates representing 20 countries and

co-hosted by the Foreign Secretary and the International Development Secretary.

In Sierra Leone alone, an estimated 765 new cases were reported last week - a rate of five every hour - in a country where there are currently only 327 beds available for patients.

The UK government has already committed £125 million to tackle the disease, this includes supporting 700 treatment beds to help up to 8,800 patients over 6 months as well as shoring up the country’s stretched public health services to help contain the disease.

Cuba has vast experience of delivering international assistance and currently there are 325,000 Cuban health workers in 158 countries. Cuba has an impressive track record in emergency situations such as the devastating earthquakes in Kashmir and Haiti, as well as providing longer term medical aid across many countries and in differing circumstances.

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