PAHO Director praises Cuban medical support

Source:  Granma
June 29 2016

by: Prensa Latina(PL) | internet@granma.cu

On June 28, the Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Carissa Etienne, praised Cuba’s contribution to training health professionals and its medical missions in numerous countries worldwide.

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The region is facing a political and economic situation which presents great challenges to advancing toward universal healthcare. Photo: ABI

On June 28, the Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Carissa Etienne, praised Cuba’s contribution to training health professionals and its medical missions in numerous countries worldwide.

Participating in the closing ceremony of the First International Encounter on Primary Healthcare Experiences, Etienne noted that there are currently over 10,000 Cuban health workers in Brazil alone.

She also mentioned the island’s healthcare missions in El Sal­vador, Nicaragua, Ecuador and small island nations of the Caribbean, such as Dominica.  Etienne stated that 706 Cuban collaborators, almost 100 of whom are affiliated with the Mi Salud (My Health) program, much like that of the island’s community primary healthcare initiative, are currently working in Bolivia.

Cuba’s training program

The PAHO director highlighted the island’s training program, which has seen many Bolivian students graduate as doctors.  According to PL, Cuban medical collaboration with so-called Third World Countries began in 1960, when a group of emergency doctors was sent to Chile to treat victims of an earthquake which left thousands dead. Later, in 1963, the first permanent Cuban medical brigade arrived in a recently independent Algeria. Since then Cuban health professionals have offered services in over 120 countries worldwide.

Etienne noted that the region is facing a political and economic situation which presents great challenges to advancing toward universal healthcare.

Also participating in the encounter were delegates from Ecuador, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Brazil, and Bolivia.

The PAHO Director also praised policies implemented by the Bolivian government to extend medical coverage to all communities.  In this context, she recognized the advances of the South American nation in reducing malnutrition, infant mortality, poverty and illiteracy and economic inequality

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