Cuban Medical Cooperation during the Ebola Crisis in West Africa
An international response was needed to control the aggressive outbreak of Ebola in West African countries.
256 Cuban health professionals were placed in West Africa (Liberi, Sierra Leone, and Guinea-Conakry). They served alongside other international health personnel in Ebola field hospitals and treatment centers. The Cuban teams worked in six-month deployments.
  • Solidarity staffing (eg deployments to/from other jurisdictions)
  • Nurse Practitioners*
  • Nurse Specialists*
  • Nurses - Licensed Practical
  • Nurses - Registered
  • Physicians - Emergency
  • Physicians - Intensive Care
  • Physicians - Primary/Family
  • Physicians - Specialists
An outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa resulted in 2574 cases and 3091 deaths in the period of nine months in 2013-14. The epidemic was acknowledged by the WHO as being out of control, and international assistance was requested.

The health systems in West Africa are known to be underdeveloped. Inadequate protections for health workers resulted in many health worker deaths early in the outbreak.
  • Hospitals
the Cuban Ministry of Public Health has prioritized medical cooperation with other countries as part of the country's foreign policy.
Sociocultural factors were not adequately acknowledged by early international responders. Misinformation and fear needed to be overcome
Formal Policy
Chaple, E. B., & Mercer, M. A. (2017). The Cuban response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa: lessons in solidarity. International Journal of Health Services, 47(1), 134-149.
Mary Anne Mercer
University of Washington
Published Literature

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