Cuban nurse dies of malaria in Africa

Reinaldo Villafranca Antigua, member of the Henry Reeve Medical Brigade, died Sunday in Sierra Leone victim of cerebral malaria with complications, according to a note from the Cuban Ministry of Public Health (Minsap).

The nurse, 43 years old, died at noon on January 18 -local time- at the Hospital of the British Army in Kerry Town, within 24 hours of having been diagnosed with the disease.

On Saturday morning, the nurse had diarrhea as first symptom of the disease, but he himself associated it with eating disorders, according to reports in the official information. In the afternoon he started having fever of 100 degrees.

Clinical tests you performed on Villafranca Antigua in the center where he worked were positive, so he was moved to the British institution. This procedure was repeated and it reaffirmed the diagnosis. He was also performed Ebola test, which was negative.

Although he received an appropriate care in the hospital, the patient could not overcome the illness. “In his evolution he presented symptoms of progressive neurological worsening and respiratory difficulty, so that was coupled to pulmonary ventilation equipment under the care of British specialists. At dawn and morning his clinical status worsened, with no response to treatment until death. “Minsap note reviewed.

Reinaldo Antigua Villafranca lived in the town Los Palacios, in the western province of Pinar del Río. He arrived in Sierra Leone last October 2 as part of the medical brigade to fight Ebola.

This health specialist is the second Cuban to die in Africa as a result of malaria, after hundreds of Cuban health specialists responded to the call of the World Health Organization (WHO) to stop the scourge threatening to spread to other regions of the world.

Last December 26, Dr. Jorge Juan Guerra Rodriguez, 60, died in Guinea-Conakry after having been only 20 days on African soil.

Malaria is one of the deadliest diseases in the world. According to WHO, more than half a million people die each year as a result of this condition. The impact is especially tragic among infants. It is estimated that since 2010 an African child dies every minute for this cause.

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