Sunday, 23 January 2011

Cuban Doctors Save 0.25m Haitians

Cuban Doctors Save 250,000 people in Haiti
Source: Agencia de Informacion Nacional (Habana), 29 December 2010.

Cuban doctors have saved over 250,000 Haitians during the twelve years of medical cooperation in Haiti, which was devastated in 2010 by a strong earthquake and after that by the cholera pandemic.

Cuban Health vice Minister Marcias Cobas said that international cooperation with Haiti began in December 1998; it was never suspended despite coups d'etat, and was intensified this year after the earthquake and the pandemic outbreak.

According to the Cuban Round Table TV Program, Cobas affirmed that Haiti has received, during these years, more than 3,500 health cooperants that have performed 16 million consultations.

Cobas added that the health system of Haiti was rebuilt, as part of a Cuban initiative after the earthquake, with the support of nations from the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), especially from Venezuela.

She mentioned that under this initiative, in progress when the cholera pandemic started, they have created more than 24 campaign hospitals and 30 rehabilitation centers. Cobas noted that nowadays, there are more than 1,334 Cuban health cooperants and that not even the pandemic has been able to stop the rebuilding process.

Cholera was detected last October 20 [2010] in a health facility with Cuban doctors and it spread right away throughout the country causing death to 2,707 people. Other 115 cases were reported in the Dominican Republic, Haiti's closest neighbor, in addition to another three in the United States. Cuban Health deputy Minister Luis Struch pointed out that after the earthquake Cuba began to monitor the epidemiologic situation of Haiti, which allowed noticing immediately this acute bacteriologic disease of high toxicity.

Struch said that the Cuban strategy against the pandemic in Haiti is to take the health services to every corner of the country.

The Rector of the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) highlighted the presence of tens of young physicians graduated in this school in the cooperation mission in Haiti.

Cuban vice Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Ramon Ripoll noted that the solidarity of other governments with Haiti is channeled through the Cuban medical mission. He cited the support of Norway, Spain, Australia and Namibia and stated that the distribution and use of the materials are made in conjunction with the Haitian authorities.