US sends health official to Cuban Ebola meeting

Thursday, October 30, 2014

HAVANA (AP) — U.S. and Cuban health officials sat together in Havana on Wednesday to discuss Latin America’s response to Ebola, the most concrete sign so far of the nations’ desire to cooperate against the epidemic despite decades of tense relations.

A mid-level official of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was a surprise participant at a two-day meeting called by ALBA, a forum of left-leaning Latin countries founded by Cuba and Venezuela as a counterweight to U.S. influence. The meeting is part of a Cuban anti-Ebola effort that included sending at least 256 doctors and nurses to West Africa this month, a commitment that has inspired rare U.S. praise for the communist island.

The dispatch of Cuban doctors was followed by mutual expressions of desire for Havana and Washington to work together against Ebola, and the top U.S. diplomat in Cuba attended a briefing on Ebola for Havana’s diplomatic corps last week by Cuba’s foreign and health ministers, but there was no public display of cooperation until Wednesday.

Source: UT San Diego (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
governance, infectious diseases, public health