WHO and Cuba Call for Increased Effort to Fight Ebola

Geneva, Sep 12 (Prensa Latina) – Increased global efforts to fight the Ebola virus were made today by the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Margaret Chan, and the Cuban Public Health Minister, Roberto Morales.

“If we are going to war against Ebola, we need resources for the fight,” said Chan in a press release, where she thanked the Cuban government for its generosity, and Cuban health professionals for their assistance in containing the worst ever outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever.

Cuba will send a brigade of 165 health professionals, including 62 doctors and 103 nurses, with more than 15 years of professional experience, including in natural disaster recovery and epidemic control in various countries.

Chan expressed special thanks to the leader of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro, and Cuba’s president, Raul Castro, for the rapid response to the appeal made by the WHO, and by the U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-moon, to various countries.

The WHO has some 170 specialists deployed in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea Conakry, but it is estimated that between 500 and 600 additional professionals are still needed.

The topic was the subject of analysis here this week during a working meeting presided over by Chan and Morales.

Morales said that the fight against the hemorraghic fever should be undertaken in an integrated fashion, under the direction of the WHO, in order to make the greatest impact.

He reiterated the call to governments and public health agencies to join the fight, at a time when Africa is in great need of international solidarity.

The Ebola outbreak of 2014 is the most complex to date, with 4,784 cases registered so far, 2,400 of them fatal, according to the most recent data from the WHO.