Cuban doctor who beat Ebola wants to complete his mission in Sierra Leone

th574SSTHMCuban physician Felix Baez Sarria, who contracted Ebola while working in Sierra Leone and was treated and cured at a hospital in Geneva, said he will return to the African nation to finish his task of treating Ebola patients there, local media reported here Sunday.

“I’m returning to Sierra Leone; and I’ll finish what I started,” said Baez Sarria upon his arrival in Havana on Saturday to meet with his family after being cured of the disease, the official daily Juventud Rebelde reported.

The physician said he is “very happy” to have returned to the island at the welcoming ceremony, in which Cuban Public Health Minister Roberto Morales, and the two sector vice ministers, Jose Angel Portal and Marcia Cobas, his son Felix Alejandro and his wife Vania participated.

Baez Sarria expressed his thanks to all who were involved in the diagnosis and providing medical care for him.

“I’m going to recover now, completely, my health,” he added.

Baez Sarria returned to Cuba after the Geneva University Hospital where he was treated announced that the latest lab tests performed on him there had determined that he was free of the Ebola virus and that he could be released and return to Cuba without risk of infecting others.

The director of the Pedro Kouri Tropical Medicine Institute in Havana, Jorge Perez, who accompanied Baez Sarria while he was being treated for the disease in Geneva, said with regard to the doctor’s wish to return to Sierra Leone that “there is no pressure” being exerted on him to do so.

The Cuban health care workers who have been sent to West Africa to battle the disease there have all been volunteers and they will be allowed to return there voluntarily, he noted.

Baez Sarria had been part of the Henry Reeve International Brigade dispatched by Havana to Sierra Leone in early October to treat Ebola patients. EFE

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