Wednesday, 15 May 2019 21:51

Cuba Offers a Helping Hand to Mozambique

Written by PL
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Cuba Offers a Helping Hand to Mozambique Photo: PL

The humanitarian aid Cuba is providing Mozambique in health care after the devastation caused by cyclone Idai - among the worst to have hit Africa - ratifies the historic, friendly relations between the two nations.

 

Havana, Cuba.- On this occasion, Brigade 28 of the Henry Reeve Contingent is providing assistance in the city of Beira, in Sofala province.

The team, specialized in disasters and serious epidemic situations and made up of 16 doctors, is working at a field hospital equipped with imaging equipment and 20 beds. The Cuban medical staff see patients, perform surgeries and conduct clinical and microbiological tests.

The team includes general practitioners, surgeons, internal medicine specialists, pediatricians, gynecologists, orthopedists and epidemiologists.

Cuban Minister of Public Health José Ángel Portal described the epidemiological situation facing this African country as complex. At the farewell ceremony, he urged all 40 members of the brigade to join the Cuban collaborators who are currently providing their services there - over 270- and to work together as a family.

The official also encouraged them to be extremely careful during their work in order to avoid catching a disease in Beira - Mozambique's second most populated city after Maputo, the capital. Beira has a population of more than 500,000 inhabitants with a density of 690 people per one square kilometer.

The head of the Cuban Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) noted that the specialists that compose the brigade received detailed information on this

South African nation's health situation. Cholera and malaria are endemic in that region and there are elevated chances of an outbreak as a result of the hurricane.

The head of Brigade 28, Rolando Piloto, highlighted that his colleagues are strongly committed to representing Cuba with dignity, to work day and night, and conduct prophylactic work in order to mitigate the impact of the disaster and avoid epidemics in the affected areas.

With this deed, we commemorate the 42nd anniversary of the first visit the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, paid to Mozambique from March 21th to 23th, 1977.

We will also remember doctors Enrique Betancourt Neninger and Ulises la Rosa Mesa, who lost their lives alongside patriot Samora Machel, who is considered the father of Mozambique's independence.

Cyclone Idai left substantial damage and hundreds of people dead and wounded in Madagascar, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique because of the intensity of the winds, heavy rain and flooding.

According to Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, this is another alarming sign of the dangers of climate change.

HENRY REEVE CONTINGENT

The Henry Reeve Contingent, named after New Yorker Henry Reeve, who fought for the independence of Cuba against Spain, was created in 2005 to provide humanitarian aid at the request of the international community.

In May 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) granted this contingent the Public Health Award -in memory of Dr.Lee Jong-Wook- in recognition for its natural disaster and epidemic relief efforts.

According to official data, since the contingent's creation, 7,254 Cuban medical collaborators have provided their assistance during emergencies in 19 nations around the world - twice in Haiti and Chile.

The Cuban health professionals,who are trained to conduct these missions,have attended to more than 3.5 million people and have saved about 80,000 patients, according to estimates. (PL)

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