China today announced the completion of the first of two hospitals built in record time in Wuhan only to isolate and treat cases of the 2019-nCoV coronavirus epidemic and its consequent pneumonia.
The Huoshenshan center will begin receiving patients from tomorrow and will be managed by 1,400 members of the People’s Liberation Army approved this Sunday by the president of the country and the Central Military Commission, Xi Jinping.
Among its staff will be specialists with experience in the fight against the epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and that of Ebola in Africa.
The construction of the sanitarium has been extended since January 25, covers an area of 34 thousand square meters and has the capacity to accomodate a thousand people.
Images from the local press show the arrival of military commands, equipment work and the installation of remote diagnostic systems.
On Thursday, a similar second hospital in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, should also begin operations, while Beijing, the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Guiyang City also set up facilities specializing in respiratory disease.
Experts predict that the epidemic would peak in the following days and then begin to decrease the mass infection of individuals.
The prognosis takes into account the incubation period of the 2019-nCoV strain, which lasts 14 days.
Therefore, it is expected that there will be a time when the new patients will be quarantined and others will already be cured, which would reduce the risk of spreading in the middle of the mass return of citizens after the Lunar New Year holidays.
The coronavirus epidemic and its pneumonia covers all of China and left at least 304 deaths and 14 thousand 411 infected since it broke out last December in the capital of the Hubei province.
Nations in Asia, Europe, North America, the Middle East and Oceania account for a total of 140 cases, mostly among Chinese travelers from Wuhan, and this Sunday the Philippines reported that one died and thus became the first death recorded abroad.
According to statistics, 328 people were discharged from the Asian giant, but they run the risk of becoming ill again if they do not comply with health recommendations, prevention and control measures.
The complexity of the epidemiological situation led the World Health Organization to declare Thursday the international emergency, with the concern that it will spread to countries with weak health systems.
The Chinese military is sending 1,400 medical staff, some with experience from the previous Sars and Ebola outbreaks, to treat coronavirus patients in Wuhan. Photo: AP
The Cuban revolution will celebrate 61 years of existence on January 1st 2020.
Simply to have survived despite a US invasion while in its infancy, despite a brutal US economic and financial blockade in force since 1960, despite a constant international media campaign of lies and half-truths, despite biological warfare, the bombing of hotels, despite hundreds of assassination attempts on Fidel’s life; despite the numerous destabilization attempts including the use of social media conveying propaganda aimed at the toppling of the government and the ending of the Revolution – to have survived all this is no mean achievement.
A revolution by the humble for the humble
But Cuba has done much more than just survive. The Cuban people, regardless of colour or class, now have access to education up to the tertiary level at no cost to them or their parents. Student debt is alien to the Cuban culture. The Cuban people, again regardless of colour or class, have access to the best medical care that the society has to offer. In fact, in Cuba both education and health care are seen as basic human rights.
The Cuban revolution also made sports a right of the people. Before the triumph of the Cuban revolution on January 1 1959, sports in Cuba was limited to basically four professional baseball teams and a few outstanding individuals. Today, Cuba’s impressive sports infrastructure and massive participation level have allowed the small nation to become one of the leading countries in the world in terms of Olympic medals won per capita. From the start of the Olympic Games in 1896 up until 1956 — a span of over 60 years — Cuba won only four Olympic gold medals. However, starting from almost nothing, in its 61 years of revolution the nation has won 78 gold medals up to the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
Cubans do not have to worry about crime and drugs – in fact, while their men and women know how to shoot in the cause of national defense, gun crime is virtually non-existent in Cuba, and Cuban society is basically drug-free, thanks to the Revolution.
The relatively low crime rate and the general peacefulness of Cuban society are due to the high level of education and the ability of the people to analyze and participate, with a well-developed sense of human empathy in formulating guiding measures taken by their egalitarian society.
In a separate article, we will look at many other achievements of the Revolution which we have not had the space to mention here.
The Cuban revolution boasts not just local or national achievements. Cuban internationalism is well known throughout the world, especially among the poor, the oppressed and the marginalized. Cuba’s contribution to the ending of the brutal apartheid system in South Africa is well documented. As Nelson Mandela noted when addressing Cubans in Matanzas in 1991:[i]
I must say that when we wanted to take up arms, we approached numerous Western governments for assistance and we were never able to see any but the most junior ministers. When we visited Cuba, we were received by the highest office and were immediately offered whatever we wanted and needed. That was our earliest experience with Cuban internationalism.
We in Africa are used to being victims of countries wanting to carve up our territory or subvert our sovereignty. It is unparalleled in African history to have another people rise to the defense of one of us…. Your [Cuban] presence and the reinforcement of your forces in the battle of Cuito Cuanavale was of truly historic significance.
In addition, Cuba’s medical assistance to the rest of the world has saved millions; and thousands of the poor, from all over the planet, have graduated as doctors and other health care specialists from Cuban universities without paying a cent to Cuba. Specifically, more than 400,000 health professionals have participated in missions outside of Cuba since 1963, including those carried out after hurricanes, earthquakes and the battle against the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa. Since 1963. a total of 1,923,712,555 consultations have been made, according to figures released by the Cuban Ministry of Public Health. There are currently about 29,000 medical personnel in 65 countries.
Cuba remains a model of moral fortitude, courage, cultural richness, unity, solidarity, sovereignty, internationalism and dedication to building a just society based on the highest ideals of man.
Congratulations to the heroic Cuban people. Respect due!
May their influence continue to spread and continue to lay the basis for the better world envisaged by Fidel; one in which human dignity, happiness, love and solidarity take centre stage over corporate greed, war, hatred, racism, disunity, mindless consumerism and egotism.
[i] Nelson Mandela, in How Far We Slaves Have Come, by Nelson Mandela, Fidel Castro, Pathfinder Press, pp. 19, 23.
The actions of the current Secretary General of the Organization of American States or OAS, Mr. Almagro is consistent with the pro-US and pro-imperialist tradition of the organization that he leads.
However, perhaps unlike the previous Secretary Generals of the OAS, who largely gave or tried to give a semblance of fair-play in conducting OAS affairs on behalf of its member countries, Almagro has made it clear from the start that he will proudly and unabashedly prostitute his organization in the interest of the deep state and the regional oligarchy.
Apparently willing to do anything to advance the reactionary agenda of his Washington bosses, Almagro has now set his eyes on the vain objective of discrediting the international reputation and respect of the Cuban Medical International Cooperation Program.
This internationalist program of the Cuban Revolution has sent thousands of doctors, nurses and other medical personnel to provide assistance to millions of peasants, workers and poor people on every continent on Earth – many of whom have never seen a doctor, dentist or nurse in their lives. In so doing, Cuban medical brigades have saved lives, cured diseases, trained local medical personnel, often in some of the most remote areas on the planet.
Why would the SG (secretary General) of the OAS take time out of his busy schedule to attack and discredit a medical program that has almost single handedly brought Ebola in West Africa under control, saving hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of lives in Africa? Why would Mr. Almagro want to discredit a medical program that is usually one of the first to send doctors and other medical personnel to save lives in countries that are ravaged by natural disasters such as the earthquakes in Haiti, Ecuador and Nepal a few years ago? Why would he want to discredit the prestige and respect of Cuba’s medical program that has helped millions of poor and working people over the decades in countries like Brazil, Jamaica, Grenada, Barbados, Venezuela, Guinea Bissau, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and so many more where imperialism and the local oligarchs have done everything to decimate health care services by underfunding and underinvesting in the training of doctors and other medical personnel and health facilities?
The answer is resoundingly simple, US imperialism are worried that everywhere Cuba’s doctors, nurses, dentists and other medical personnel go to save the lives of the victims of poor health, another nail is driven in the heart of capitalism and imperialism and another star ⭐️ on the banner of Cuba’s revolution.
The US empire is no doubt equally concerned that through Cuba’s internationalist medical program, their long-standing strategy to isolate the Cuban people and their Revolution has lost traction and appeal amongst the world’s poor who have tangibly benefitted from the Cuban Revolution. Hence, SG Almagro, acting in the role of an undignified servant of the US empire, is deployed to lie, misrepresent and distort Cuba’s internationalist program under the guise of the OAS.
It also appears that the US empire and its local allies are concerned that the more encounters the ordinary folks of the region have with Cuba’s life savers and curers of their diseases, the more they might realize the truth of the words of Fidel Castro that “a better world is possible”; a world in which they will be free to use their resources without being told by the IMF, the World Bank or the US ambassadors in their capitals how much they can or cannot allocate to their health care budgets and other budgets like the Cuban government does freely each year!
So SG Almagro, you may serve imperialism for your own personal benefits. If that is what you want your legacy to be that’s your right, but you should NEVER forget that Cuba’s internationalist medical program will live forever in the hearts and minds of millions of poor all over the planet. Those who have been served by the Cuban medical brigades will forever be grateful to a free and sovereign country called Cuba, working under the nose of a brutal warmongering empire living out its final days! A new day is dawning, your lies will fall by the wayside!
As MINREX warned in a statement released August 29, 2019, the United States government has, since last year, been waging an intense, offensive campaign against the medical collaboration Cuba provides, along with threats of sanctions against Cuban leaders and pressure on recipient states to end such cooperation.
Directed in detail by the National Security Council at the White House, the campaign has the active participation of Senators and Representatives associated with the anti-Cuban mafia in Florida and rabid State Department officials.
They accuse Cuba of alleged “modern slavery” and “trafficking in persons,” referring to Cuban health system professionals, for the purpose of their exploitation and alleged interference in the internal affairs of the nations in which they are located.
Active efforts to incite defection
The U.S. government is also attempting to re-establish the so-called “Parole Program for Cuban Medical Professionals,” in existence until January 12, 2017, as the basis for active efforts to incite defection, offering to pay for travel and legal services, provision of U.S. visas and documents to collaborators in third countries, with the purpose of sabotaging bilateral agreements signed with these nations, depriving them of our services and depriving Cuba of highly qualified human resources.
In May of 2019, the secretary general of the Organization of American States organized a conference at its headquarters on the alleged crimes against humanity committed by Cuba in connection with our medical cooperation abroad.
In June, the State Department, in its 2019 Report on Trafficking in Persons, disparaged Cuba’s international medical cooperation and, a month later, imposed visa-restriction sanctions on Cuban officials linked to medical missions.
$3m earmarked for projects against Cuba’s medical brigades
Later, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), a U.S. institution that provides funds for subversion programs against the Cuban government, earmarked three million dollars for projects directed against Cuba’s medical brigades abroad.
This U.S. persecution began in Latin America and has forced the suspension of cooperation programs in Brazil, Ecuador and Bolivia.
The servile, fascist Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro insulted and abruptly expelled our specialist doctors who, under a tripartite agreement with the Pan American Health Organization, effective August 2013 through November 2018, treated 113,359,000 patients in more than 3,600 of the country’s municipalities, and provided permanent coverage to 60 million Brazilians.
In our country, 1,214 Brazilian students have completed medical school.
This decision allowed Bolsonaro to demonstrate his subservience to the U.S. government, while dismantling a program for low-income families, as part of a brutal policy to eliminate social gains made during progressive Workers Party governments.
Senior U.S. officials have used the slander that Cuban medical brigades in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela are military troops, which Bolsonaro parroted, in September of 2019, during his speech in the United Nations General Assembly, maliciously or ignorantly tripling, in a ridiculous manner, the false, unfounded figure used by Washington.
Officials from the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and U.S. embassies have turned to national authorities, as in Guatemala, to peremptorily and suspiciously request precise data on Cuban medical cooperation, looking for a way to eliminate it.
In May of 2019, the U.S. embassy in Ecuador asked senior government officials for detailed information on agreements and services provided by Cuban collaborators. Five months later, the Ecuadorian government terminated these programs precipitously, despite their imminent expiration, citing economic reasons.
6,749,666 medical consultations by Cuban health professional in Ecuador
Since the beginning of medical collaboration in this country, a total of 3,565 Cuban health professionals have provided their services, including 6,749,666 medical consultations, 212,360 surgeries, 3,548 births assisted, and 100,084 vaccinations administered. Some 153 collaborators participated in Operation Miracle, a program through which 168,543 surgical interventions were performed. As a result of the Manuela Espejo Solidarity Mission, 825,576 people were assisted, 35,257 of them in specialized neurophysiology and otorhinolaryngology consultations and 21,062 patients underwent clinical genetic studies.
2093 Ecuadoreans completed medical studies in Cuba
Additionally, 2093 young Ecuadorians completed medical studies in Cuba.
In October, Ecuador’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs requested information on the purpose of trips to the country by a group of Cuban citizens carrying diplomatic and official passports. Later, the Minister of Government offensively declared that several Cubans, associated with cooperation agreements, had participated in protests by the Ecuadorian people against the implementation of neoliberal measures, at that time.
As has been shown, no Cuban participated in or organized these massive popular demonstrations, and not a single official or diplomatic passport was improperly used. The manipulators have not been able to present a single piece of evidence.
The Cuban state issues diplomatic, official and service passports, in accordance with the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic and Consular Relations, and guarantees that the holders comply with what is established for their proper use.
Hostile actions against Cuban collaborators in Bolivia
During the coup in Bolivia, the U.S. embassy in La Paz instigated, conducted, and participated in hostile actions by police forces and, surprisingly by firefighters, against Cuban collaborators. As was publicly denounced, U.S. officials participated directly in these acts, using a U.S. diplomatic car with license plate 28 CD-17.
During these days, there were 26 serious incidents against our collaborators, including the beating of two; public incitement to violence by coup authorities; brutal searches of their persons, belongings and homes; false accusations; the arbitrary, temporary detention of 50 health workers, four for several days.
Faced with this situation, the Cuban government was forced to proceed with the immediate withdrawal of our personnel, while energetically condemning the false statements of the so-called minister of Health, named by the coup-plotters, who shamelessly exaggerated the value of stipends earned by Cuban medical specialists, in reality lower than those of Bolivian general practitioners, and concealing the fact that Cuba did not receive a penny as compensation for this cooperation.
The Cuban medical brigade in Bolivia, 54% female, was composed of 406 doctors in 32 specialties, including General Integral Medicine, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Gynecology and Obstetrics, Anesthesiology and Reanimation, Ophthalmology, General Surgery, Orthopedics and Traumatology, Intensive and Emergency Medicine, Neonatology, among others. Also performing outstanding work were 258 graduates in health technologies such as imaging, endoscopy, electromedicine, clinical lab testing, rehabilitation and nursing.
73,330,447 consultations by Cuban health professional in Bolivia
Over the years, they provided 73,330,447 consultations and 1,529,301 surgeries. Some 60,640 births were assisted; 22,221 vaccinations administered; and 508,403 ophthalmic surgeries performed.
5,184 Bolivian doctors graduated from Cuban universities
Additionally, some 5,184 Bolivian doctors graduated from Cuban universities.
The persecution and search for information has included attempts to interrogate Cuban personnel by U.S. “diplomats” in the very health centers where they work, including in North Africa and the Middle East.
It is immoral and unacceptable to question the dignity, professionalism and altruism of the more than 400,000 Cuban health care collaborators who, over 56 years, have completed missions in 164 nations.
They have made outstanding contributions to the fight against Ebola in Africa, against blindness in Latin America and the Caribbean, and cholera in Haiti; in 26 brigades from the Henry Reeve International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disasters and Major Epidemics, in Pakistan, Indonesia, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Venezuela, among others.
With the same disinterest and dedication, 35,613 health professionals from 138 countries have been trained free of charge in Cuba.
In the case of nations with less favorable economic conditions, Cuba assumes practically the entire cost of collaboration. Similarly, and in line with United Nations conception of cooperation between developing countries, our support is offered in other nations on the basis of complementarity and partial compensation for services provided.
The Cuban technicians and professionals who participate in these programs do so absolutely of their own free will. During the performance of their missions, they continue to receive their full salary in Cuba, and also a stipend in the country of destination, along with other benefits.
When Cuba receives compensation for our cooperation, these collaborators are meritoriously providing a fair and totally legitimate contribution to the financing, sustainability and development of our country’s free, universal health system, accessible to all Cubans, as well as to cooperation programs provided free of charge, in many parts of the world.
As we stated last August 29, access to health care is a human right. The U.S. campaign against our international medical cooperation is a disgraceful, criminal act against peoples in need of medical assistance, which cannot overshadow the solidarity and human contribution of the 29,000 Cuban health care professionals, who, with enormous sacrifice and understanding on the part of their families, currently provide services to 65 nations.
The attitude of the United States government in this matter is despicable. Cuba’s response is firm: we will continue to save lives, to seek health and well-being for the world, within the limits of our possibilities, wherever we are requested.
Cuban Ambassador, Inés Fors Fernández, Jamaica’s Chief Nursing Officer, Patricia Ingram-Martin and Cuban Health Professionals
Authorities at the Ministry of Health and Wellness of Jamaica along with Cuban Ambassador to Jamaica, Inés Fors Fernández, officially welcomed at the office of this institution in New Kingston, St. Andrew, a group of forty Cuban health professionals who will render their services in Jamaica for the next three years.
The medical professionals will help to ease the problems created by the shortage of health care professionals in the country, especially doctors, nurses and technicians, including imaging technologists and will be assigned in different localities across the island.
In June, the ministry confirmed that it would process 212 nurses, 108 doctors, and 24 technicians. It also said a further 30 doctors would be given lessons in English to see whether or not they would also be processed, while nine technicians would do additional English lessons to see if they qualify.
At the welcoming ceremony, the Cuban ambassador to Kingston, Inés Fors, urged the doctors to keep up the ethical and professional values of medicine in the Greater Antilles.
Some 18 specialists are part of the “Miracle Mission”, within which some 16,000 operations have been carried out to improve or restore sight to Jamaicans with few resources.
The integration of Cuban professionals in Jamaica began in the 1970s when Cuban doctors and nurses joined their Jamaican counterparts in the healthcare sector of the country; when Cuban builders and engineers joined Jamaican workers and engineers in the construction of educational institutions and micro-dams, and when Jamaica/Cuba co-operation in sports and culture was birthed.
In 1976, the first medical brigade of 14 doctors arrived in Jamaica under a technical cooperation agreement. According to official data, in more than 40 years of work in Jamaica, Cubans have saved 2,541 lives, have applied 73,331 doses of vaccines, performed 30,761 surgical interventions and have offered more than 1.4 million consultations.
This latest importation of Cuban medical personnel will mark the largest number of medical recruits at any one time in Jamaica’s history.
Mexico, Mar 31 (Prensa Latina) Minimally-invasive surgery has great prospects in the field of medicine, due to its comparative advantages not only for patient but also for society, two Cuban specialists said here on Sunday.
Doctor Julian Ruiz Torres, founder and director of the National Center for Minimally-Invasive Surgery in Cuba (CNCMA), and the center’s deputy director, Rafael Torres Peña, are in Mexico to comply with a program on this issue that includes meetings with more than 150 Mexican physicians trained in Cuba who perform this surgical procedure.
The two doctors told Prensa Latina that they take advantage of this visit to explain to their Mexican colleagues the great progress Cuba has made with this technique, especially the Center they represent, which is a reference in the Central American and Caribbean region.
The CNCMA, which brings together a group of doctors in different medical specialties, was created in 1993 at the Calixto Garcia Hospital to comprehensively face endoscopic surgery, therapeutic endoscopy and high-quality interventional radiology and with the best technology, Ruiz Torres said.
The Center was founded the next year, given its successful work.
During its 25 years of activities and thanks to its team of medical professionals, the CNCMA has become a national and regional referal center that leads assistance, teaching and research in the practice of minimally-invasive surgery.
Santiago de Cuba, (Pr L) The clearly descending curve of children”s mortality due to cancer is on Tuesday one of the main achievements of the comprehensive cancer control program, said Dr. Agustin Lage, a scientist linked to this strategy.
In statements to Prensa Latina, the director of the Center for Molecular Immunology (CIM) indicated that every year the number of infants who die from this disease is lower, which is the result of a policy of the State and its Ministry of Public Health oriented for several years to their confrontation.
The access to sophisticated and complex medicines is another of the possibilities mentioned by the expert, who referred to the effort made for all patients to reach them, difficult aim to achieve in the midst of the financial limitations of the country.
In this sense, Lage emphasized that it is vital the development and contribution of the national pharmaceutical and biotechnological industry, which is absolutely involved in these purposes as one of the strengths that differentiate the Cuban situation from what happens in other places.
The scientific advisor of BioCubafarma, the main entity of the sector, referred to the markedly mercantile character of this branch in other nations, where the objective of maximizing profits leads to the marketing of very expensive products with impacts below these high expectations.
The medicine industry is mostly private in many countries, the researcher recalled when he recognized that in Cuba it is part of a health system with a social vocation and belongs to the people, an advantage that must be taken advantage of by those who work in it to maximize that virtue.
The director of the CIM said that the Cimavax-EGF, a therapeutic vaccine against lung cancer, is applied to patients in a clinical trial in the state of New York, as there is a first agreement with a cancer institute in that nation and steps are being taken for a joint venture for these tests.
A lengthening of survival was the fundamental balance of this formula highlighted by Lage, who also pointed to the operation of a monoclonal antibody factory in China in order to generate resources for the national