Cuba's renown medical team has arrived in Liberia joining other international doctors in fighting Ebola and saving patients' lives. Liberian Foreign Minister Augustine Ngufuan greeted the team in Monrovia thanking them for their service to Liberia and Sierra Leone. Additional medical diplomats is a relief for Liberian health staff working in a healthcare system that is overstretched and working to the brink. Cuba has been sending troops of medical volunteers, military experts and revolutionaries and literature to Mama Africa for some 50+ years. The cultural links between Cuba and Africa are interlinked in religion and spiritually and cultural roots. This is the first time that Cuban doctors are in Liberia. Inspite of the fifty year old embargo, Cuba's health care system has managed to stabilize and preventive healthcare is practiced in most parts of the country. Pharmacies can be found in neighbors in the capital Havana and in the countryside. Infant morality rate is one of the lowest in the Americas and most Cubans have access to healthcare. Medical doctors and students have been sent abroad to Latin America, Carribean (recently in Venezuela and Haiti) Asia and Africa for years now. Cuba hosts one of the most accessible and freest medical schools in the world Latin American School of Medicine or ELAM in Spanish. ELAM provides crucial medical training and education to many doctors, nurses and medical staff in developing countries. It serves as a pan third world, non alignment medical school for anyone interested in medical studies without the stress of cost. Unlike the United States, in Cuba (like most of the world) healthcare is regarded as a human right not a privilege or decision based solely on finances. Liberia too, places healthcare access as a fundamental right for each citizen. The country has been working on reiterating the necessary precautions to take halt and reduce the Ebola cases in Monrovia and Rural Liberia. The measures are working as more Liberians, Sierra Leone and Guineas are surviving Ebola regardless of the huge death and physical toll. The Ebola survivors serve as a light to three nations that fighting physically or medically with Cuban and Liberian doctors aids in the recovery process and helps to ease the pain of loosing neighbors and family members. The article below is provided by TLC Africa.
Cuba's Advance-Medical Team Arrives, Hailed As 'Medical Diplomats'
A Foreign Ministry release says the advanced Cuban medical professionals which arrived in the country on Saturday, October 4, 2014 is headed by Dr. Juan Carlos Dupuy Nunez.
Other members of the delegation include Dr.Pablo Miguel, Raventon Vaguer, Mr. Andres Marrero Escobar, and Rolando Vergara Zito constituting of medical doctors, financial and logistical officers.
During a courtesy call on Liberia’s Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan at his Foreign Ministry Office on Monday, September 6, 2014, the Foreign Minister, on behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and the Government and people of Liberia, extended sincere gratitude to the Government and People of Cuba for demonstrating what he termed as a solid friendship and solidarity to people in greater needs: "You are coming to help not just Liberia, but also the Republic of Sierra Leone”.
While lifting praises on Cuba, Minister Ngafuan noted that Cuba has over the years distinguished itself in the medical fields, referring to Cuban medical doctors as medical diplomats in the world.
The Liberian Foreign Minister further assured the advance team of his ministry’s fullest cooperation in helping them navigate through Liberia’s governmental system, noting that Liberia has good diplomatic relations with Cuba.
Foreign Minister Ngafuan disclosed that as Liberia battles against the deadly Ebola disease, the government is also working hard to upgrade the standard of its health facilities to deal with other related illnesses that are posing threats to the heath of the Liberian people.
Minister Ngafuan then expressed confidence that with the coming of the Cuban doctors to assist in the fight against Ebola, the disease will soon be eradicated.
In brief remarks, the head of the advanced team, Dr. Nunez who introduced members of his delegation revealed that they are in Liberia as an advance-team of what is going to be a comprehensive team of about 50 experts that will arrive in Liberia very soon.
According to Dr. Nunez, the Cuban medical team will be in the country as part of international response to control the virus in West Africa and the world and will be in Liberia to work with government in curbing the disease.
Recently, Regla Angulo, head of the Cuban medical relief agency last month, announced Cuba's contribution in the Ebola fight by sending medical personnel to work in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia with the latest announcement now putting the total number at 461 Cuban medical personnel who would have been sent to help prevent the spread of the epidemic across west Africa.