Saturday, October 18, 2014

Head of Cuba's Ebola Effort Expects More Aid Soon

Head of Cuba's Ebola Effort Expects More Aid Soon
HAVANA — Oct 17, 2014, 9:19 PM ET

A leftist Latin American summit next week should generate more aid to
fight Ebola, including additional Cuban doctors and support staff from
other nations, the head of Cuba's effort to slow the disease said Friday.

Jorge Perez, the head of Cuba's top tropical medicine institute, said he
expects the meeting of the socialist ALBA bloc hosted by Cuba and
Venezuela in Havana on Monday to result in pledges of financial and
human resources that can be sent to African nations trying to contain
the Ebola outbreak.

Cuba has sent 165 doctors to Sierra Leone and plans to send 296 more to
Liberia and Guinea, the largest commitment of medical personnel so far.
Perez said Cuba is ready to send more doctors as long as there is enough
funding and infrastructure to support them.

"What do I expect as a scientist from the summit? That the countries in
attendance join the international effort against Ebola, for the
protection not just of their countries but also to see how they can help
those countries experiencing such difficult situations," he said.

"There are countries that have resources and can send money, but there
are also those who can send human resources. It's not just doctors. We
also need nurses, technicians."

He said he was certain that if there was money to fund the effort, Cuba
could send more doctors, but he also called on other countries to send
more of their own doctors and medical staff, and not just money and

Perez said the Cuban doctors were receiving their ordinary salaries from
the communist government, while extra expenses such as the costs of
lodging and transportation in Africa were being borne by the World
Health Organization.

In Washington on Friday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry mentioned
Cuba as one of the "nations large and small stepping up in impressive
ways to make a contribution on the front lines."

Perez said that despite the United States' chilly 55-year relationship
with Cuba's communist government, Kerry's words were "an important
gesture and I think that's important."


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Source: Head of Cuba's Ebola Effort Expects More Aid Soon - ABC News -

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