Cuban Health Workers Arrive in Sierra Leone to Fight Ebola

Cuban News Agency

A Cuban brigade of 165 health specialists arrived Thursday in Freetown, Sierra Leone, to join the fight on Ebola, according to the webpage of the Cuban embassy in Ghana.

The brigade was welcomed by Deputy Health Minister Madina Rahman, who said that the Cubans left their homes and families to come to her country in order to fight the terrible disease and share knowledge with local doctors.

Cuban ambassador to Ghana, Jorge Lefebre, who also was at the airport, described Ebola as another war and said that the Cuban professionals came under the commitment of saving the lives of their sisters and brothers of Sierra Leone.

With the assistance of China, Cuba and a medical team from the U.K. which is helping to set up labs and treatment centers in the country, local authorities expect to do away with Ebola in Sierra Leone.

According to the World Health Organization, the Cubans have over 15 years of experience in controlling and fighting epidemics.

One comment

  1. Here we see the threat that a good example eposes to the most powerful on Earth, for it’s the good Cuba is doing that has made it Washington’s enemy.

    Cuba’s internationalism is rooted with the principles of humanitarianism and closely associated with its socialist philosophy of solidarity between people. No matter where on the planet they may be, just because somebody lives differently does not make them wrong but different, as we are all human. This demonstrates a powerful example of compassion to global citizens, by defending the rights of the oppressed, poor and vulnerable around the world.

    Cuban Medical Internationalism alone has reached more people around the world than all of the G8 put together, WHO and Médecins sans Frontieres. Just think about that for a moment.

    Cubans thinks, acts, feels, cares and works differently to anybody I’ve met in the world so their Soft Power, diplomacy and humanitarian internationalism is not only extraordinary but complex.

    The influence or stature of Cuba’s Internationalist concept could be understood by the acquisition and exercise of “soft power”, a theory first popularised by Joseph Nye.

    “power is the ability to alter the behaviour of others to get what you want. There are basically three ways to do that;

    Coercion or the stick,
    Payments or the carrots, and
    Attraction or soft power.

    A country’s soft power can come from three resources; its culture; in places where it is attractive to others, its political values; when it lives up to them at home and abroad, and its foreign policies; when they are seen as legitimate and having moral authority”

    The facts on Cuban Internationalism are truly exceptional, up to 23,000 children from the Chernobyl disaster have been and continue to be treated in the Tarará resort outside Havana, 1.5 million people across Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa have had their eyesight restored as part of Operation Miracle, extensive emergency medical missions, disaster relief around the world from Pakistan to Peru, 9,000 students from LDC are studying at no cost, yes free education to become doctors at the ELAM (Latin American Medical School \ Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina) and further 50,00 other medical students – Cuban cooperation established around the world, Yemen, Guyana, Ethiopia, Uganda, chana? Gambia Equatorial Guinea, Haiti, Guinea Bissau and East Timor.

    By 2008 Cuban Medical staff were caring for over 70 million people around the world and in Haiti and other countries practically the entire population.

    In contrast………………

    In 2005, Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city of New Orleans with many of the residents temporarily housed in the Super-dome in Houston, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was highly criticised for their lack response (or lack of), including how long it took to supply the Super-dome with adequate water and food.

    How many days did it take FEMA to get water to the Super-dome. ?

    Therefore it would be best summed up by Fidel Castro himself “It lies in the fact that human capital can achieve far more than financial capital. Human capital implies not only knowledge but also crucially important political awareness, ethics, a sense of solidarity, truly human feelings, a spirit of sacrifice, heroism and the capacity to do a lot with very little.

    Cuban initiatives have been largely ignored by western media and continues to be the case as “nobody” wants this to be true as it’s not in their interests.

    This is not new initiatives, Cuban has been working since the 1960s. In 1978, the year before I was born Jorge Dominguez said “Cuba is a small country, but it has a big country’s foreign policy. It has tried to carry out such a policy since the beginning of the revolution, but only in the second half of the 1970s did it have conditions to become a visible and important factor actually shaping the course of events”.

    In the same year Henry Kissinger, said “ It’s time to overcome the ridiculous myth of the invincible cubans. Who ever heard of Cubans conducting a global foreign policy”

    In 1978 data collected by Paul Grundy & Peter Budetti showed the total number of Cuban medical personnel overseas was over 2,300, which was maybe an understatement as their data on Iraq, Angola, Ethiopia, Jamaica, and Laos only included Physicians suggesting there were more other personnel acting in a medical capacity.
    The total number of Medical doctors overseas was 1,500 which was nearly 13% of Cuba’s 12,000 total physicians.

    There are a number of reports which shown 14,000 Cuban aid personnel, mostly medical professionals stationed overseas in the late 1970s mostly in Saharan Africa and rising to 46,000 in the 1980s.

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