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US praises Cuba's contribution in fight against Ebola


New York, Nov 1 (IANS/EFE) US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, praised Cuba's contribution to the fight against Ebola in West Africa, and said that her country is very grateful.

"Although I did not encounter them personally, I have to commend Cuba for sending 265 medical professionals to the affected countries so quickly," said Power, who recently returned from a trip to Africa, during a Reuters Newsmaker panel discussion in New York Friday.

"We are working side by side, as it were," the diplomat said, though adding that the US and Cuban efforts are separate.

Power noted the speed with which Havana reacted to the Ebola outbreak, and recalled that the Cuban government would send 200 more health workers to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the three countries most affected by the outbreak that has killed nearly 5,000 people.

She also said that, besides treating patients directly, the health workers in West Africa are also training local personnel in how to deal with the epidemic.

Cuba's contribution to battling the epidemic has been praised by international entities such as the UN and the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as US media outlets such as The New York Times.

For more than 50 years, the US and Cuba have had no diplomatic relations, and Washington has imposed an economic, trade and financial embargo on the island.



First Published: Sat, November 01 2014. 10:48 IST