Training Delays Cuban Doctors from Fighting Ebola - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Training Delays Cuban Doctors from Fighting Ebola

Posted:
CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) - The Cuban doctors were all fired up and raring to get to work: Fidel Castro had praised their commitment and urged them to work even with American troops who might otherwise be considered the enemy, and President Raul Castro came to the airport to wish them well in their mission to fight Ebola in West Africa.

That was more than two months ago.

In Guinea, where the current outbreak started, 37 Cuban doctors, nurses and epidemiologists hang around a hotel pool, holding daily meetings to bolster their morale, crowding around a computer to learn more about the theory of Ebola treatment, and even trying on their protective suits and masks.

"We really thought we would arrive one day and get to work the next, but the reality is different," Cuban team leader Dr. Carlos Castro told The Associated Press in Conakry, the capital.

Training is the problem, he explained. All 256 Cubans sent to West Africa at the beginning of October had received weeks of instruction at home, including about protective measures and equipment.

They were expected to get another two or three weeks of "immersion" training in an Ebola treatment center working with patients, Castro said.

Guinean officials said language was one of the issues, with the Cubans speaking Spanish and their hosts French.

Up to now, only Doctors Without Borders has trained medical workers in Guinea on how to effectively care for Ebola patients and at the same time avoid getting infected themselves.

By the end of November, 622 health care workers had been infected with the Ebola virus and 346 of them died, according to the World Health Organization.

One of the Cubans in Guinea died less than a month after arriving and celebrating his 60th birthday, but he did not die of Ebola. Jorge Juan Guerra Rodriguez died of a severe bout of malaria, Castro said.

Doctors Without Borders, which has taken the lead in treating patients from the start of the epidemic, long has complained that it is overstretched. Three months ago it urged states with biological disaster response capacity to urgently intervene and "to dispatch trained personnel in their numbers." Last week it warned of an inadequate response "encumbered by serious bottlenecks in terms of staffing."

Foreign governments have focused on financing and building treatment centers, leaving staffing to charities and local health workers who do not have the expertise, the medical group said.

"Training people to safely operate Ebola case management facilities and carry out other necessary activities takes weeks of theoretical and hands-on training ... this bottleneck has created major delays," said the organization.

Doctors Without Borders has been trying to train 12 health workers there every two weeks, but has not always managed this, said Dr. Moumie Barry, who is in charge of training at Guinea's Ebola coordination center.

Guinea is about to open its own training center, using Guineans trained by Doctors Without Borders, and is organizing to train six of the Cuban doctors using two interpreters, he said. Two Cubans already have been trained by the medical aid group. But at this rate, it would take months to train the entire crew.

Twelve health workers from Mali also will train at the Guinea center since Mali does not have any facility to train them, said Barry.

There has also been a delay in deploying Cuban doctors in Sierra Leone, with only about 60 of 165 Cubans there in the field, said Castro, leader of the Cuban doctors in Guinea.

Sierra Leone's Ministry of Health would say only that some of the Cubans there are working while others still are being trained, according to spokesman Sidie Yayha Tunis. He said the Cubans are being trained at a center run by the ministry, and did not mention any language problems though his country is English-speaking.

In Conakry, the delay in training leaves the Cubans to hang out by the pool, where a few get in and swim laps.

Castro said the World Health Organization is giving the Cubans a daily stipend of $299, from which they must pay expenses like hotel rooms, meals, transport and communications including costly cell phone airtime to call home. Back home, Cuban doctors are paid just $60 a month.
  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Delaware State Fair Showcases Young Farmers

    Delaware State Fair Showcases Young Farmers

    Tuesday, July 25 2017 8:50 PM EDT2017-07-26 00:50:52 GMT
    Tuesday, July 25 2017 8:50 PM EDT2017-07-26 00:50:52 GMT
    HARRINGTON, Del. -- The Delaware State Fair features a number of exhibits on agriculture and livestock shows, many of which have deep involvement from children and teenagers.Taylor Brittingham of Smyrna has been showing farm animals in competition sinceMore
    HARRINGTON, Del. -- The Delaware State Fair features a number of exhibits on agriculture and livestock shows, many of which have deep involvement from children and teenagers.Taylor Brittingham of Smyrna has been showing farm animals in competition sinceMore
  • New Details Surface On Assateague Pony Death

    New Details Surface On Assateague Pony Death

    Tuesday, July 25 2017 7:39 PM EDT2017-07-25 23:39:22 GMT
    Tuesday, July 25 2017 7:39 PM EDT2017-07-25 23:39:22 GMT
    Assateague PoniesAssateague Ponies
    New details surfaced on last weeks Assateague Pony death. According to Park officials, the 7-year-old pony was found by campers. Due to the uncertainty of when the pony ate the dog food, the investigation has concluded and no one is being charged.More
    New details surfaced on last weeks Assateague Pony death. According to Park officials, the 7-year-old pony was found by campers. Due to the uncertainty of when the pony ate the dog food, the investigation has concluded and no one is being charged.More
  • Six Arrested After Ocean City Strong Arm Robbery

    Six Arrested After Ocean City Robbery

    07/25/2017 18:05:00 -04:002017-07-25 22:05:00 GMT
    Tuesday, July 25 2017 6:05 PM EDT2017-07-25 22:05:05 GMT
    MGN OnlineMGN Online
    A verbal altercation between two groups led to a strong arm robbery and six people being arrested on Monday, according to the town of Ocean City.More
    A verbal altercation between two groups led to a strong arm robbery and six people being arrested on Monday, according to the town of Ocean City.More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Dead Shark Washes up on OC Beach

    Dead Shark Washes up on OC Beach

    07/25/2017 07:38:00 -04:002017-07-25 11:38:00 GMT
    Tuesday, July 25 2017 7:39 AM EDT2017-07-25 11:39:19 GMT
    This shark washed ashore in Ocean City on Monday. (Photo credit: Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun)This shark washed ashore in Ocean City on Monday. (Photo credit: Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun)
    Some beach goers in Ocean City got quite a surprise Monday when a large shark washed ashore.More
    Some beach goers in Ocean City, Maryland got quite a surprise Monday when a large shark washed ashore.More
  • Salisbury Man Sentenced to 25 Years After Third Felony Drug Conviction

    Salisbury Man Sentenced to 25 Years After Third Felony Drug Conviction

    Thursday, July 23 2015 12:15 PM EDT2015-07-23 16:15:04 GMT
    Thursday, July 23 2015 12:48 PM EDT2015-07-23 16:48:44 GMT
    A Salisbury man convicted last month of cocaine possession and “maintaining a common nuisance” has been sentenced to 25 years without parole, the Wicomico County State's Attorney's Office announced Thursday.More
    A Salisbury man convicted last month of cocaine possession and “maintaining a common nuisance” has been sentenced to 25 years without parole, the Wicomico County State's Attorney's Office announced Thursday.More
  • Assateague Horse Died After Eating Dog Food

    Assateague Horse Died After Eating Dog Food

    07/24/2017 15:45:00 -04:002017-07-24 19:45:00 GMT
    Monday, July 24 2017 3:57 PM EDT2017-07-24 19:57:23 GMT
    A photo of the mare that died after eating dog food at Assateague Island National Seashore. (Photo credit: L. Davis/Assateague Island National Seashore)A photo of the mare that died after eating dog food at Assateague Island National Seashore. (Photo credit: L. Davis/Assateague Island National Seashore)
    Officials say a wild horse was found dead after eating a large amount of dog food at Assateague Island National Seashore.More
    Officials say a wild horse was found dead after eating a large amount of dog food at Assateague Island National Seashore.More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Tornado Destroys Homes in Stevensville

    Tornado Destroys Homes in Stevensville

    Several homes in the Bay City area of Stevensville were left extremely damaged after a tornado.

    More

    Several homes in the Bay City area of Stevensville were left extremely damaged after a tornado.

    More
  • Damage, Power Outages Reported in Queen Anne's Co. After Severe Weather

    Damage, Power Outages Reported in Queen Anne's Co. After Severe Weather

    A National Weather Service team is headed to Maryland's Eastern Shore to determine whether a tornado touched down there.

    The weather service says the team is headed to Queen Anne's County on Monday to assess damage from the early morning storm that downed trees, collapsed buildings and knocked out power to thousands overnight in the Stevensville area of Kent Island. County officials say one person was injured but those injuries were not life-threatening.

    More

    A National Weather Service team is headed to Maryland's Eastern Shore to determine whether a tornado touched down there.

    The weather service says the team is headed to Queen Anne's County on Monday to assess damage from the early morning storm that downed trees, collapsed buildings and knocked out power to thousands overnight in the Stevensville area of Kent Island. County officials say one person was injured but those injuries were not life-threatening.

    More
  • People of Cambridge Move on From Segregated Past

    People of Cambridge Move on From Segregated Past

    Fifty years ago, civil unrest in Cambridge reached a boiling point. Now fifty years later, people say they are ready to reflect on those times and to move forward.

    More

    Fifty years ago, civil unrest in Cambridge reached a boiling point. Now fifty years later, people say they are ready to reflect on those times and to move forward.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices