OFFICIAL VOICE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CUBA CENTRAL COMMITTEE

In accordance with decisions made by regional leaders at the recent ALBA Ebola Summit, a meeting of health specialists and authorities began yesterday, October 29, in Havana, with the goal of establishing joint strategies of prevention and response to the global threat of Ebola, and the organization of a shared Latin America and the Caribbean effort to prevent the spreading of the illness in the region. Participating are more than 250 representatives from 32 countries, in addition to invited guests from the Pan American and World Health Organizations (PAHO, WHO). Roberto Morales Ojeda, Cuban minister of Health, opened the plenary requesting a moment of silence to honor the memory of Jorge Juan Guerra Rodríguez, a Cuban collaborator who recently died in Guinea Conakry, as a result of cerebral malaria. Morales recalled that Jorge Juan Guerra had devoted 30 years of his life to healthcare, and volunteered to join the brigade sent to West Africa, as an economist on the advance preparations team. The minister added that Guerra was the kind of person who quickly earns the affection of those around him. Morales reported that the number of Ebola cases identified has surpassed 10,487, with more than 5,000 deaths. This 50% mortality rate, he emphasized, calls for strict safety measures, protocols for health care workers and protective equipment. Cuba has organized its own domestic preventative response, and currently has 32 brigades in Africa. In countries where Ebola has not been detected, collaborators are focused on training, prevention, and rapid diagnosis. Cuban experts are also working to support preventative efforts in Nicaragua and advisors are preparing to depart for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica and Equatorial Guinea. Foto: Jose M. Correa, Cuban Minister of Public Health; Dr. Roberto Morales Ojeda; José Ramón Machado Ventura, a Council of State and Ministers vice president; and Isidoro Malmierca, minister of Foreign Trade participate in a technical meeting of regional health experts and authorities on Ebola.