Red Zone: Cuba and the Battle Against Ebola in West Africa

Red Zone: Cuba and the Battle Against Ebola in West Africa

by Enrique Ubieta


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In 2014 three West African countries were hit by the largest epidemic on record of the deadly Ebola virus. In response to an international call for help, Cuba's revolutionary socialist government provided what was needed most-and what no other country even tried to deliver. In a matter of weeks, more than 250 volunteer Cuban doctors, nurses, technicians, and public health specialists were on the ground providing hands-on care to thousands of desperately ill human beings and their traumatized families and communities. By mid-2015 the Ebola epidemic in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea had been virtually eradicated. The discipline, courage, sense of humor, and pride of these Cuban volunteers rings throughout the firsthand accounts recorded here. Their actions showed the world the kind of men and women only a deep-going socialist revolution can produce.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781604881141
Publisher: Pathfinder Press
Publication date: 12/25/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

About the author 13

Preface 15

Preamble 25

The little killer returns 37

Cuba responds 45

A life-or-death gamble 52

Liberia 61

Ebola Treatment Unit/Defense Ministry 70

The men I

Tracing the footsteps of the Henry Reeve Contingent 75

I learned to value the revolution from outside Cuba 78

Life doesn't go around twice 81

Sierra Leone 85

The Ebola Treatment Units in Sierra Leone 91

A few hours in Lungi 99

The men II

'The Prof' 101

Orula's blessing 104

What we did was an act of bravery 107


Some history 111

Objections 125

How it began 128

The Coyah Treatment Unit 130

Religious and ethnic questions 134

Diamond Plaza 138

The men III

Five long, intense months 141

Men like him don't abandon their posts 143

I've always liked to give my best 146

The women 149

Those who fell 161

Jorge Juan Guerra Rodríguez 162

Reinaldo Villafranca Lantigua, 'Coqui' 166

Ebola: Cultural and communication factors 171

Two songs, two perspectives 182

Ebola: Doubts and certainties 187

'Dad, be strong-everything is going to be fine' 207

Geneva 212

David, Goliath, and other reflections 221

Afterword 247

References cited in this book 250

Index 251

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