What This Small Island Can Teach the World about Disease Control Reply

Cuban doctors abroad
West Africa needs what Cuba has: a well-trained, coordinated healthcare system. Anything less and Ebola wins

The Guardian.com–Guatemala, Pakistan, Indonesia, Haiti. Four different nations that share a common experience: in the past decade, they were all struck by natural disasters which overwhelmed their under-staffed and under-funded public health systems. Into the rubble, flooding, and chaos of these distinct cultures and contexts, Cuba dispatched a specialised disaster and epidemic control team to support local health providers. It was a story of unprecedented medical solidarity by a developing country which few media outlets picked up – until now.

The Henry Reeve Brigade, as it’s known, was established in 2005 by more than 1,500 Cuban health professionals trained in disaster medicine and infectious disease containment; built on 40 years of medical aid experience, the volunteer team was outfitted with essential medicines and equipment and prepared to deploy to US regions ravaged by Hurricane Katrina (the offer was rejected by the Bush administration). Today, Cuba’s Henry Reeve Brigade is the largest medical team on the ground in west Africa battling Ebola.

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Read more on The Guardian.com: What Cuba Can Teach the World About Disease Control

See also Cuba’s Aid Ignored by the Media? on Al Jazeera

Cuba disease control

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