HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuba will send nearly 300 more doctors and nurses to West Africa to help combat the Ebola virus, raising to 461 the number of its medical professionals joining world efforts to contain an outbreak that has killed more than 3,000 people.
A group of 165 healthcare workers is due to arrive in Sierra Leone in early October. The 62 doctors and 103 nurses have been training for their mission with international experts at a Havana hospital specializing in tropical diseases.
The second contingent of 296 doctors and nurses will head to Liberia and Guinea, the official news agency Prensa Latina said on Friday.
Cuba has more than 50,000 doctors and nurses posted in 66 countries around the world, including more than 4,000 in 32 African countries.
The overseas missions are part of a medical diplomacy and a leading export earner for the communist government. Cuba also educates foreign doctors for free at one of its medical schools.
The Ebola epidemic that began in a remote part of Guinea in March has spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Nigeria.
The World Health Organization said on Friday the death toll from the outbreak in West Africa has risen to at least 3,091 out of 6,574 probable, suspected and confirmed cases.