On October 22, 2014, the Henry Reeve Cuban Medical Brigade arrived in Liberia comprising epidemiologists, intensive care physicians, general practitioners, surgeons, pediatricians, nurses and intensive care nurses, anesthesiologists and nursing graduates, to help treat the victims of Ebola in the West African country.
The arrival of this brigade was marked by a strong stance of solidarity from the Cuban government with Liberia.
The presence of the Cuban Medical Brigade in West Africa, according to a release from the Cuba Embassy accredited near Monrovia, was a result of Cuba’s response to the United Nations’ and World Health Organization’s (WHO) call to help three poor countries in the region, victims of a deadly epidemic. This was a response to the internationalist vocation of our people, instilled by Fidel.
Can Humanity, intercommunicated, interdependent, dispense with Solidarity? “The personnel who are marching to Africa are also protecting those of us who are left here,” Fidel pointed out, “because the worst thing that can happen is that such an epidemic, or worse ones, spreads through our continent, or in the bosom of the people of any country in the world, where a child, a mother or a human being can die.”
The international community recognized Cuba’s contribution to that effort. For the work done, there were many manifestations of support and distinction to the Cuban collaborators.
These recognitions had their culmination when, in December 2016, the World Health Organization granted the Dr. Lee Jong-Wook Public Health Award to the “Henry Reeve” Contingent.
“In these days, when a new imperialist attack is unleashed against the International Medical Collaboration of Cuba, the Cuban government ratifies its firm commitment to the development and sustainability of its health system for the benefit of the Cuban people and the cooperation with the peoples of the region and other parts of the world.” the Cuba Embassy said.
“The intensified economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba, the effects of which are particularly devastating in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, has not been able, nor will it be able, to prevent our country from sharing its scarce resources with other peoples of the world that need them.”
Today the Henry Reeve Cuban Brigade, the same one that fought Ebola in Liberia, continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in many countries around the world. In recognition of their humane and supportive work, intellectuals, artists, political personalities, social leaders, heads of state and government, ministers, senior officials of international organizations, Nobel Peace Prize winners and many other figures of the contemporary world, are asking for the Nobel Peace Prize for Henry Reeve.
“All we wish is success for our valiant fighters for health and life!” the Embassy said.