Tuesday, 16 February 2010
Cuba's aid ignored by the media?
Source: Al Jazeera
Among the many donor nations helping Haiti, Cuba and its medical teams have played a major role in treating earthquake victims. Public health experts say the Cubans were the first to set up medical facilities among the debris and to revamp hospitals immediately after the earthquake struck.
However, their pivotal work in the health sector has received scant media coverage. "It is striking that there has been virtually no mention in the media of the fact that Cuba had several hundred health personnel on the ground before any other country," said David Sanders, a professor of public health from Western Cape University in South Africa.
The Cuban team coordinator in Haiti, Dr Carlos Alberto Garcia, says the Cuban doctors, nurses and other health personnel have been working non-stop, day and night, with operating rooms open 18 hours a day. During a visit to La Paz hospital in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, Dr Mirta Roses, the director of the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) which is in charge of medical coordination between the Cuban doctors, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and a host of health sector NGOs, described the aid provided by Cuban doctors as "excellent and marvellous".
La Paz is one of five hospitals in Haiti that is largely staffed by health professionals from Havana...
By Tom Fawthrop in Havana.