In a short but impressive ceremony to welcome over 150 Cuban medics from the Cuban medical brigade, the Cuban Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Jorge Nicholas, has called on countries with more resources to assist Ebola-affected countries to help quickly to combat the disease.
He said the fight against Ebola was a collective effort. The disease is not only a threat to West Africa, but the world, he noted, adding that if emergency measures were not instituted, the epidemic would create an international calamity.
Nicholas recalled Cuba’s over-50 year relationship with Sierra Leone, which he said had cemented and yielded socio- economic benefit for both countries.
Jorge Nicholas informed the gathering that there were currently more than 4,000 Cuban health workers providing health services in 32 countries.
The Cuban Ambassador assured officials of the Health and Sanitation Ministry that he has no doubt the 163, doctors and nurses from the Cuban medical brigade, would live up to the challenge to help combat Ebola in the country.
Health and Sanitation Minister Dr. Abubakarr Fofanah said he was extremely delighted to receive the Cuban medics, noting that “a friend in need is a friend indeed”.
He said Sierra Leone over the years had enjoyed medical aid from the Government and People of Cuba, but, as he put it, this was the largest human resource capacity to assist the country’s frontline staff in the fight against Ebola.
The Health Minister explained some of the desperate moves the country had made over the years in terms of development, but the sudden outbreak of the Ebola disease has derailed the efforts made by government.
Minister Fofanah noted that the epidemic would not dampen the spirit of growth, and that with great faith and resilience the Ebola outbreak would soon be history.
He commended the Cuban medics for bracing up to face the challenge, saying he had no doubt that the Cubans would display professionalism and commitment while in the field with Sierra Leonean frontline staff.
By Ade Campbell, Awoko Newspaper
Thursday October 09, 2014