Director of Pan American Health
Organization arrives in Cuba to attend ALBA Summit
The director of the
Pan American Health Organization
Etienne, has arrived in
Cuba to participate tomorrow in an Extraordinary
Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of
Our America-Peoples' Trade Agreement (ALBA-TCP) on
am here to share with ALBA presidents and
governments PAHO's technical cooperation, and ensure
that countries are prepared in the event of any case
of Ebola," Etienne told the press after her arrival
last night at Havana's José Martí International
"The likelihood that a case might exist in one of
our countries is low. Our objective in the area is
to ensure that we detect the first case as rapidly
as possible. We need contact and full treatment. And
we need to implement necessary measures to prevent
transmission of the disease," she explained.
Asked about her expectations for the ALBA-TCP
Summit, Etienne indicated that she hopes that an
agreement will be reached by member countries to
prepare themselves for the eventuality that a case
of Ebola might appear.
PAHO, she said, will conduct a dialogue on work done
and that which will be done jointly, since the main
way to avoid the disease is to control the epidemic
in West Africa.
She hopes to have the opportunity to converse with
regional leaders to determine what they can do in
addition to what Cuba is doing, which she described
as "an example of what can be done by a small
country to help other peoples."
"We have learned much from what has happened in West
Africa, and in the United States, where a second
transmission has occurred," she said, adding that
these events show that no country can say it is 100%
She emphasized the need to guarantee the preparation
of all kinds of workers, in hospitals, on borders,
and even those responsible for the deceased.
"We are advocating for general training, and the
identification of clinical professionals who will
work directly with patients, and ensure that they
receive continuous, intensive training," she said.
"I would like to take advantage of the opportunity
to congratulate Cuba on its positive response to
help mitigate this tragedy in West Africa," Etienne
continued, emphasizing the country's positive
response to the call for support made by Margaret
Chan, secretary-general of the World Health
"Cuba's contribution is very important and
significant," she concluded.