UN Praises Cuba's Fight Against Ebola and Science Gender Gap

Telesur | Thursday, 12 November 2015 | Click here for original article

A new United Nations report praised Cuba for its outstanding achievements in education and science on Wednesday, highlighting especially its medical efforts to combat the Ebola virus in several African countries.

Cuban health professionals played an “honourable” role in missions in West Africa, the UNESCO Science Report: Towards 2030 said, praising its medical solidarity that saved more than 400 lives and made sure the overall fatality rate did not exceed 24.4 percent.

The report also noted that Cuba is the Latin American country that devotes more than one percent of its Gross Domestic Product to higher education, with 4.47 percent, followed by Bolivia with 1.61 percent.

Cuba further remains the favourite destination for students from other Latin American countries, the report said. In the last five years alone, the Caribbean nation has hosted about 17,000 foreign exchange students in their higher education institutions.

In addition, Cuba ranks second in the region, after Brazil, in terms of numbers of doctoral graduates in scientific and educational institutions. This places the country of 11 million people at number 12 globally, according to the study.

While scientific research continues to be dominated by males, Cuba actually is one the rare countries to have closed the gender gap in this sector with 47 percent of women involved in science, particularly research.

The report further recognised Cuba’s progress in such sectors like the food industry, renewable energy and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry.

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