AFSA Statement on Medical Concerns Regarding Cuba and China

For Immediate Release
July 3, 2018
Contact: Director of Communications Ásgeir Sigfússon,

Washington, D.C. – The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), the professional association and labor union of the United States Foreign Service, continues to monitor reports about medical concerns related to unspecified incidents at U.S. Embassy Havana and U.S. Consulate Guangzhou.

The 250 names inscribed on AFSA’s memorial walls bear witness to the fact that diplomats and development professionals sometimes pay for their service with their lives. Members of the Foreign Service are deployed all over the world in environments that put our health and our lives at risk – from terrorism, exposure to disease, extreme air pollution and poor sanitation. Members of the Foreign Service worked right through the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and were instrumental in containing it.

AFSA continues to urge the Department of State and the U.S. government to do everything possible to provide appropriate care for those affected, and to work to ensure that these incidents cease and are not repeated. America’s diplomatic presence matters, and AFSA believes in the vital importance of keeping the American flag flying at our embassies and consulates around the world.

AFSA, the voice of the Foreign Service, is the professional association and labor union of the U.S. Foreign Service. Founded in 1924, AFSA represents 31,000 active and retired Foreign Service employees at the Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, Foreign Commercial Service, Foreign Agricultural Service, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.