Cuba Sending Dozens Of Doctors, Nurses To Fight Ebola In West Africa

Maria Cheng | Yahoo! News | September 12, 2014

Cuba's health ministry said Friday it is sending more than 160 health workers to help stop the raging Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, providing a much-needed injection of medical expertise in a country where health workers are in short supply.  World Health Organization chief Dr. Margaret Chan said the agency was extremely grateful for the help.
"If we are going to go to war with Ebola, we need the resources to fight," she said. "This will make a significant difference in Sierra Leone."

While millions of dollars have already been pledged and countries including Britain and the U.S. have volunteered to build treatment centres, Chan said "human resources are most important," noting a crucial need for experienced doctors and nurses across the region.  "There is not a single bed available for an Ebola patient in the entire country of Liberia," she said, adding that a further 1,500 health workers are desperately needed in West Africa.  Dr. Roberto Morales Ojeda, Cuba's health minister, called on other countries to help.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the Cuban announcement and said the African Union "has begun to mobilize medical personnel for the response, and the Government of Ghana has agreed to use Accra as a key hub for flights into and out of Monrovia," U.N spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Friday. He said the secretary-general is also grateful for U.S. support, including the U.S. Agency for International Development's plans to make an additional $75 million available.  "More than 100 experts, most of them from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are deployed to the region in an effort to prevent, detect and halt the virus's spread," Dujarric said...