Cuban Medics Fighting Ebola Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

More than 460 Cuban doctors and nurses have been stationed in West Africa since October to help fight the Ebola epidemic in the region.

(Telesur) – A team of Cuban doctors and nurses specialized in disaster situations and serious epidemics currently stationed in West Africa fighting the Ebola outbreak was nominated in Norway for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

The Henry Reeve Cuban Medical Brigade’s candidacy was approved unanimously by the Annual Conference of Norwegian Trade Unions in Trondheim, a meeting attended by Cuba’s ambassador to Norway, Maria Esther Fiffe, Cuban press reported Thursday.

In photos: Cuba Sends 461 Doctors To Fight Ebola

According to official figures, 461 Cuban doctors and nurses belonging to the brigade have been stationed in West Africa since October to help fight the Ebola epidemic there, which has killed 8,921 people and infected as many as 22,334, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Since the virus was first detected in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976, 23 outbreaks have been reported in several countries. The most recent outbreak began in Guinea, but spread to neighboring Sierra Leone and Liberia, which is currently the most affected country. 

The Henry Reeve Brigade was created on Sept. 19, 2005, with over 1,500 members. Its first missions were in Guatemala and Pakistan, countries that faced the consequences of a hurricane and a devastating earthquake, respectively. 

Cuba had also offered to dispatch the brigade to the United States to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, a move that U.S. authorities rejected.