Cuba says will send 165 health workers to Sierra Leone in Ebola fight
Cuba will send 165 doctors and nurses to Sierra Leone to help fight the Ebola outbreak, Cuba's health minister and the World Health Organization announced Friday.
"We will contribute with a brigade of 165 collaborators, consisting of 62 doctors and 103 nurses," Cuban Health Minister Roberto Morales Ojeda told reporters in Geneva.
The health workers had all "previously participated in post-catastrophe situations," and had all volunteered for the mission, he said, adding that some had already arrived in the west African country.
From the first week of October, the doctors and nurses would remain for six months in Sierra Leone, where more than 500 people have so far died in the epidemic that has killed 2,400 across four west African countries since the beginning of the year.
WHO chief Margaret Chan hailed Cuba's commitment, stressing it was "the largest" made so far in the global fight to stop the deadly outbreak.
"Our response in running short, ...but the thing we need most of all is people," she told reporters.
As the epidemic continues to swell, WHO said Friday another 500 foreign health professionals and around 1,000 local doctors and nurses were needed to stop its spread.
© 2014 AFP