A Cuban doctor who was successfully treated for Ebola in a Swiss hospital has left Switzerland and is reunited with his family. The Cuban, Felix Baez Sarria contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone and was flown to Geneva for treatment on Nov. 20. The Geneva University hospital said that Felix Baez was successfully treated for Ebola and his blood samples showed that he is completely cured.
The CMO of Geneva state Jacques-Andre Romand said, “The total recovery of the patient, confirmed by thorough laboratory tests, now allows him to leave the country and travel with no risk of contagion.”
Cuba is an impoverished nation and is facing crippling sanctions and remains largely cut off from the world. It lies roughly 4,500 miles away from West Africa which is under the grip of an Ebola epidemic. Cuba is playing a robust role by providing hundreds of professionals to the areas worst hit by the epidemic. Cuba’s role must be lauded and emulated by friends and foes alike.
Ebola has evoked a global panic and there has been adequate response from the wealthy countries lead by the US. The US and the West have pledged hundreds of dollars but only Cuba and a few NGO’s are providing the much needed medical professionals in the field.
The Doctors in West Africa are in need of support to establish isolation centers as well as mechanism to detect the Ebola infections early. More than 400 medical workers have been infected and over 4500 patients have died.
It is ironic that US which is the principal donor in the fight against Ebola is not having any diplomatic relations with Cuba. Cuban health workers will be one of the most exposed foreigners and many could contract the virus. The WHO is directing a team of Cuban doctors but it is not clear how it would treat and evacuate Cubans who become sick.