Time Names Ebola Fighters Person of the Year, Forgets Cubans

Cuban doctors on their way to help with the Ebola outbreak | Photo: Cubanet

Last month the magazine said Cuba was the first nation to dedicate hundreds of health care workers to West Africa, but in naming Ebola fighters “Person of the Year,” named five individuals from the United States and West Africa.
Nurses, doctors, and other volunteers fighting Ebola in West Africa through “tireless acts of courage and mercy” have been named Time’s 2014 Person of the Year, the magazine announced Wednesday.

However, the magazine however failed mention the huge effort by hundreds of Cuban doctors and nurses.

The magazine praised the work of the medical aid group Doctors Without Borders(MSF), the Christian medical-relief workers of Samaritan’s Purse, and “many others from all over the world” who “fought side by side with local doctors and nurses, ambulance drivers and burial teams.”

It specifically named: Dr. Jerry Brown, 46, medical director at the Eternal Love Winning Africa Hospital, Monrovia, Liberia; Dr. Kent Brantly, 33, physician with Samaritan’s Purse; Ella Watson-Stryker, 34, MSF health promoter; Foday Gallah, 37, ambulance supervisor and Ebola survivor, Monrovia, Liberia; and Katie Meyler, 32, founder of a school for vulnerable girls from the West Point slum of Monrovia.

​Runners up to the title of Person of the Year, included “Ferguson protestors, the activists,” “Vladimir Putin, the Imperialist,” “Massoud Barzani, The Opportunist” and “Jack Ma, The Capitalist.”

In November the magazine published an article titled “Why Cuba Is So Good at Fighting Ebola?” highlighting the island as the first nation to dedicate hundreds of health care workers to West Africa.

“As the first nation to dedicate hundreds of health care workers to West Africa, Cuba is an unlikely hero in the Ebola outbreak. Inspite of not being among the wealthiest countries, Cuba is one of the most committed when it comes to deploying doctors to crisis zones,” the article states.

Cuba has sent more than 460 Cuban doctors and nurses to West Africa, and currently, 165 are working there with the World Heath Organization (WHO).

In November, Time also highlighted the fact more than 50,000 health care workers from Cuba are working in 66 countries around the world.

“When Cuban doctors graduate medical school, they are given the opportunity to volunteer to be called upon for medical missions, like an Ebola outbreak or a natural catastrophe. Often, these are one to two year commitments,” the magazine noted.

Time recalled that more than 23,000 medical students from low-income communities in 83 countries, including the U.S., have graduated from the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) in Havana and become doctors, while nearly 10,000 students are currently enrolled.

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