On Monday, Cuban President Raúl Castro announced that two health brigades from the island nation would be dispatched to Liberia and Guinea Conakry early this week to assist in the fight against the Ebola epidemic.
Castro made the announcement at the inauguration in Havana of the summit being held by the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, or ALBA, an initiative coordinating efforts to combat and halt the spread of the disease.
Specifically, on Tuesday, Cuba will send 53 health care workers to Liberia and 38 to Guinea Conakry, Cuban Health Minister Roberto Morales said at the ALBA meeting. In Sierra Leone, one of the African nations that has been most severely affected by Ebola, a group of 165 Cuban health professionals have been treating Ebola patients since early this month.
Castro said in his inaugural address to the summit that Ebola is an immense challenge for humanity and Havana is ready to work “shoulder to shoulder” with all nations, including the United States, in the fight against the disease.
“I am convinced that if this threat is not halted and resolved in West Africa with an immediate… international response… it could become one of the most serious pandemics in the history of humanity,” the Cuban leader said.
More than 76,000 Cuban health professionals are working in 39 countries around the world, with 45,952 of them being stationed in 25 Latin American and Caribbean nations, according to figures provided by the Cuban president.
There are more than 4,000 Cuban health care workers posted to 32 African nations at present.
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