WHO declares West Africa Ebola free

Source:  Granma
January 15 2016

International News Staff

A country is considered to be Ebola free if no new cases are reported for 42 days

Cuban doctors respond to Ebola threat in Africa.jpgCuba was the first country to respond to the emergency, announcing that it would initially send a group of 165 health collaborators to Sierra Leone, a number which later increased. 
Photo: Granma

GENEVA.— Thursday, January 14, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an end to the Ebola epidemic which erupted two years ago in West Africa, killing over 11,300 people.

rick brennan.jpg“Today WHO declares the end of the most recent outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Liberia, the outbreak that was associated with the flare-up of cases in mid-November,” said Rick Brennan, director of the WHO’s Emergency Risk Management and Humanitarian Response.

Before Liberia, the WHO had previously declared an end to the lethal epidemic in Sierra Leone and Guinea.

A country is considered to be Ebola free if no new cases are reported for 42 days, reported German media chain DW.

UNICEF highlighted that almost 23,000 children have been orphaned in these nations after losing one or both parents to the virus. 

At the outbreak of the epidemic, the WHO and the UN called on the international community to join forces to combat the virus. 

raul bids farewell to cuban doctors leaving for west africa oct 24 2014During a September 2014 meeting in Geneva, Cuba was the first country to respond to the emergency, announcing that it would initially send a group of 165 health collaborators to Sierra Leone, a number which later increased. 

Margaret ChanNumerous media outlets and international figures such as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and WHO Director, Dr. Margaret Chan, acknowledged the island’s contribution to the fight. 

U.S. newspaper The New York Times noted that Cuba’s attitude should be “lauded and emulated,” adding that “The Cuban health care workers will be among the most exposed foreigners.”

Cuba’s participation in the struggle is not an isolated case, but rather forms part of worldwide solidarity efforts undertaken over 55 years of Revolution.

Source:  WHO declares West Africa Ebola free

One thought on “WHO declares West Africa Ebola free

  1. There is no doubt that many countries and organizations of good will around the world including the affected West African countries ravaged by Ebola, played a role to make the WHO’s declaration that the disease is ended in West Africa possible.

    However, the role of Cuba in helping to bring an end to the devastation of Ebola in West Africa was decisive in the WHO’s declaration on January 14th 2016.

    Cuba’s decivisive role in fighting Ebola was the result of its large contingent of doctors, nurses and other medical practioners that it invested in the collective battle to save the lives of West Africans in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. However, Cuba invested another resource in its battle against Ebola that was unique, namely,its revolutionary committment to end a scourge that kills thousands of West Africans. Cuba’s medical practioners perhaps unlike all the others were not only conscious of their professional responsibilities to save lives but they were also driven by their revolutionary responsibilities to save the lives of primarily poor Africans who were and are the victims of imperialist and neocolonialist exploitation and plunder.

    The latter is precisely what despite the best efforts of the medical teams from around the world including the Cubans, caused the deaths of over 11,000 West Africans who had and still have little or no medical facilities like modernized hospitals, virologists,clinics, adequate ambulances and other health infrastructure as exist in the so-called advanced nations like the US, Britain, Germany and France.

    These are sad realities in the West African nations ravaged not solely by Ebola but also by imperialism which exploits the gold, diamonds and other mineral resources possessed by these so-called poor nations almost exclusively to their advantage and that of their client governments.

    So in this context, it is prudent to ask the following questions:
    How many of the 11, 000 plus dead West Africans in the affected nations could have lived had there been adequate health facilities in these nations built by the tax revenues and profits from their mineral wealth so heavily exploited by mining corporations from the so- called advanced nations of the world? Why is it that all the Americans and other Westerners who worked in the affected nations had their lives saved once they arrived from West Africa? Why is it that the only person to die in the US is one West African from Liberia?

    Thankfully, Cuba’s anti-imperialist and socialist revolution despite its flaws created a world class health care system that prioritizes the lives of everyone but particularly those of ordinary folks whose lives simply did not matter to the Cuban oligarchy and their imperialist bosses who ruled Cuba before January 1st 1959.

    Thus in closing, to truly understand Cuba’s exemplary role in the collective battle to put an end to Ebola and the WHO’s declaration formally announcing its end in the affected West African nations, it is imperative to understand that none of what Cuba did in fighting Ebola would have been possible without its revolution against imperialism and neocolonialism. In other words, the medical resources and revolutionary committment that the Cubans invested to fight Ebola would not have been possible without its revolution. Indeed, the public and no doubt private praises that Cuba received from the UN, the WHO and even grudgingly from the US were made possible by its anti-imperialist and socialist revolution!!

    Thus Cuba’s revolution aided immensely in the collective battle to eradicate Ebola in West Africa whether it is recognized or otherwise by all concerned including West Africans who are alive today because of the Cuban medical team.

    The world including the West Africans should NEVER forget that Cuba is the same country that the US government continues to blockade commercially and economically for nearly 55 years. Perhaps the world particularly the West Africans and others who have benefitted from Cuba’s internationalist solidarity should ask themselves the question; what more could Cuba have done to save lives in West Africa and elsewhere had its developmental potential not been impeded by the criminal US blockade?

    “Tough time never last but tough people do” Peace!!

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s