Geneva, May 24 – Over more than 50 years, some 137,000 Cuban health professionals have worked in all continents, in distant and difficult to access regions, a work recognized here at the World Health Assembly.
That work began in 1960 with the sending of an emergency group to Chile to attend victims of an earthquake that killed thousands of people, and in 1963, the first permanent medical brigade arrived in Algeria, which had recently gained independence.
They were the two historic initial moments, the director of the International Relations department at the Cuban Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP), Nestor Marimon, told Prensa Latina.
Since then, the support has never been interrupted, despite the economic limitations imposed by the U.S. blockade and the situation faced in the special period in the 1990s, after the disappearance of the European socialist camp.
Although the cooperation, extended to 120 countries, has always been important in each place, the official mentioned some of its important moments.
Between 1960 and 1980, some brigades were sent to African countries such as Tanzania, Guinea, Angola and Ethiopia; the Comprehensive Health Program emerged by the late 1990s, and the Latin American School of Medicine was founded, after the passing of Hurricanes George and Mitch through the Caribbean and Central America.
No other country, or international organization has had many collaborators at the same time in such a large number of nations, Marimon said.
At present, there are 50,000 health workers in 65 countries, 25,000 of whom are physicians, he stated.
This valuable solidarity support was recognized here by many ministers during the annual assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO), bringing together representatives from 194 State members of the entity at the Palais des Nations.
Cuba was chosen by the Americas region to chair the World Health Assembly this year, as an example of the prestige of its medicine and the contribution to the WHO goals to prevent and face global health problems.
Source: Prensa Latina