Joint Cuba-U.S. Physician Training Program Could Help West Africa Solve Health Worker Shortage

Foreign Policy: How Castro’s Doctors Could Stop the Next Ebola Outbreak
Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations

“…A joint U.S.-Cuban physician-training effort would not only solve the human resources crisis in the Ebola-hit nations, but would further open the doors of diplomatic cooperation between Washington, and Havana. Through funding from USAID and perhaps private sources — from the likes of, say, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — the costs of travel, housing, and education for African nurses, as well as subsidies for educating their nursing replacements inside the West African countries, could allow rapid deployment of 200 or more nurses to [the Latin American Medical School (ELAM) in Cuba]. … Combining the money, logistics, and talent of the United States, Cuba, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia to rapidly train a team of new doctors for the West African nations offers the most cost-effective, swift, and appropriate means to solve the health systems crisis faced in the Ebola-hit countries…” (5/6).

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