Cuba confirmed the sending of 165 health workers to Sierra Leone to help fight the Ebola outbreak during a United Nations Security Council emergency meeting on Thursday.
This was only the second time the Security Council has ever discussed a public health emergency, with the first time being over the Aids epidemic.
Cuba's delegate in the Security Council, Abelardo Moreno, said that all countries must cooperate to stop the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which has killed at least 2,630 people in the region.
“This cooperation would allow us to send a medical brigade, which members have expressed the will to join to fight against the epidemic. Each of them have more than 15 years of experience and have worked in other countries during natural disasters and outbreaks, as well as in medical cooperative missions. We are prepared to work shoulder to shoulder with other countries, even those with which we don't have any diplomatic relation.” said Moreno during his intervention.
The Cuban health workers going to Sierra Leone are part of the International Henry Reeve Contingent, a special medical force created in Cuba in 2005 in order to fight health and humanitarian emergencies all over the world.
Moreno also said that currently over 2,000 Cuban doctors cooperate in health missions in Africa, and that in the last 55 years Cuba has sent 325,710 medical workers to 158 countries in health missions.
“Cuba's response confirms the solidarity values that have guided the Cuban Revolution: not to give what we can spare, but to share what we have.” said Moreno. “Humanity has a debt with African people. We can not let them down.”
During the meeting, the Security Council adopted unanimously a resolution to help the African countries where Ebola has caused economic and health struggles, especially Sierra Leone and Guinea. The resolution was historic being adopted by 130 countries with co-sponsors.
Ebola outbreak began on March in Guinea and has spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal. According to World Health Organisation, there are at least 5,357 confirmed cases of Ebola in West Africa.