Friday, September 26, 2014

Cuba sends 300 more doctors to fight Ebola

Cuba sends 300 more doctors to fight Ebola
Cuban government's pledge comes as European health experts urge their
governments to ramp up relief efforts in region.
Last updated: 26 Sep 2014 10:20

Cuba says it will send nearly 300 more doctors and nurses to west Africa
to help fight the Ebola epidemic.

The Cubans will work in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, Regla Angulo,
head of the Cuban medical relief agency, said in a statement on Friday.

The announcement means that up to 461 Cuban medical personnel would have
been sent to help address the epidemic spreading across west Africa.

Angulo said the staff were currently undergoing intense training ahead
of their deployment, working in a mock field hospital of the kind they
expect to find in the region.

Cuba's decision comes as health experts from 16 European countries urged
their governments to massively scale up manpower and resources to fight
west Africa's Ebola epidemic, now threatening "the entire world".

European countries should urgently send trained medical staff, field
laboratories, protective clothing, disinfectants and basic tools like
electricity generators, 44 public health professionals and academics
wrote in The Lancet medical journal.

"After months of inaction and neglect from the international community,
the Ebola epidemic in west Africa has now spiralled utterly out of
control," said their open letter.

"Today, the virus is a threat not only to the countries where the
outbreak has overwhelmed the capacity of national health systems, but
also to the entire world.

"We urge our governments to mobilise all possible resources to assist
west Africa in dealing with this horrific epidemic."

On Thursday. US President Barack Obama said the global community had not
done enough to respond to the crisis.

"There is still a significant gap between where we are and where we need
to be," Obama said on Thursday while addressing a high-level UN meeting
on Ebola.

Margaret Chan, director of the World Health Organisation, addressed the
Ebola meeting before Obama.

Chan said the virus was "still running ahead, jumping over everything we
put in place to slow it down".

The American government has dispatched 3,000 US troops to Liberia to set
up facilities and form training teams to help treat patients.

The deadliest Ebola epidemic has infected more than 6,200 people in west
Africa and killed nearly half of them since late last year, according to
the World Health Organization (WHO).

Source: Cuba sends 300 more doctors to fight Ebola - Africa - Al Jazeera
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