The New York Times praised the work of Cuban doctors in the fight against Ebola in Africa
- Submitted by: Camila
- Health and Medicine
- 10 / 20 / 2014
Rapid support response provided by Cuba to the World Health Organization facing the epidemic of Ebola, which has caused more than 4000 deaths in Africa, is admirable. The New York Times published an article to praise the work of Cuban doctors and nurses who took the step forward.
According to the newspaper, Cuba could end up playing the most prominent role among the nations that are working to stem the spread of the virus, because although many countries have offered their willingness to contribute money, only Cuba and a few NGOs are providing what is most urgently needed: medical professionals willing to serve patients.
Doctors in West Africa urgently need international support to build isolation centers and implement better ways to diagnose patients before they develop advanced symptoms.
The big contribution of the island undoubtedly part of its efforts to improve its status on the world stage, but still, should be applauded and imitated.
It is unfortunate that Washington, the main financial contributor to the fight against Ebola has no diplomatic ties with Havana, in this case, the enmity has life and death implications, since the two capitals have non mechanisms to coordinate their efforts.
Of foreigners working in West Africa, the Cuban doctors will be among the most exposed and it is quite possible that some will contract the virus. "It would be a matter of common sense and compassion that the Pentagon offering assistance to Cubans, in case one became ill. For example, should give them access to the medical center built in the capital of Liberia, and help with medical evacuation of patients," said The New York Times.
At present it is not known what will happen to the doctors who get sick because WHO has not made clear how they would manage the situation, also the American authorities have refused to indicate whether they would be willing to provide some support or not.
The arrival of the virus to Cuba would be an unthinkable disaster as would challenge in more than a serious way the island and the region capacity to fight against it, raising the risk that the number of cases is triggered in the hemisphere.
With technical support from the World Health Organization, the Cuban government trained 460 doctors and nurses as to the strict precautions that are necessary to treat patients suffering from a highly contagious virus. They will be deployed on missions to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
José Luis Di Fabio, WHO representative, said the team sent to Africa includes doctors who have previously worked in the region, which makes them even more valuable. "Cuba has a very competent health staff," said Di Fabio.
The Secretary of State John F. Kerry on Friday praised the "courage of every healthcare provider you are taking this challenge", and made a brief reference to the contribution of Cuba. Cuban professionals have flanged support for decades to all regions that have needed, despite the difficulties being experienced in the island because of sanctions imposed by the United States.
The opinion of The New York Times is the same as most of the world, it is time for Cuba and the United States put aside their differences and work hand in hand for the good of the world. Even Fidel Castro said that right now the alliance between the two countries is more than necessary.