Cuba says to send 48-member medical team to Nepal

HAVANA (Reuters) - The Cuban government will send a 48-member medical team including 22 doctors to Nepal in response to the April 25 earthquake that killed more than 7,600 people, official Cuban media said on Wednesday, citing Health Ministry officials. The Communist government has traditionally sent medical teams abroad in response to disasters, including last year when Cuba sent 256 doctors and nurses to three West African countries to treat patients in the Ebola outbreak. The team would depart with a field hospital that contains a surgical unit, sterilization equipment, an intensive care unit and diagnostic equipment including X-ray and ultrasound machines, the official website Cubadebate said. While Cuba provides doctors and nurses for disaster relief for free, it also exchanges them for cash or goods on more routine missions. The island receives an estimated 115,000 barrels of oil per day from Venezuela, where some 30,000 Cuban medical professionals are posted. In all, more than 50,000 Cuban health workers are posted in more than 60 countries. The death toll from the April 25 quake in the Himalayan mountain nation has reached 7,675, with more than 16,300 people injured, the government of Nepal said. (Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Ken Wills)