Following the arrival of over 200 members of the Cuban Medical Brigade in April this year, 13 of these received a warm welcome at Rob Ferreira Hospital on Tuesday.
These health professionals will be distributed in all the three districts, Nkangala, Gert Sibande and Ehlanzeni, to support the existing teams in the fight against Covid-19, reports Lowvelder.
“We would like to send our warm gratitude to you for coming to serve our people in this province and we know our people are in safe hands,” said the MEC of health in Mpumalanga, Sasekani Manzini.
“The brigade we are welcoming understands the value of human life and the need to preserve it,” she said.
She quoted president Cyril Ramaphosa in saying that the SA-Cuba agreement on cooperation in the fields of public health and medical sciences has registered much success.
“Over 732 South Africans, many from previously disadvantaged communities, received their first five years of medical training in Cuba and have qualified as doctors since the inception of the Nelson Mandela/Fidel Castro medical training programme in 1997. Many others continue receiving medical training in Cuba, and will also provide in the coming years much needed primary healthcare services to their local communities.”
She further added that the Cuban health system was based on the Primary Health Care model and focuses on this prevention-rather-than-cure method to prevent diseases from occurring in the first place.
“This system has yielded massive gains for the people of Cuba and their quality of life. This healthcare system is a shining light and it is free, hence thousands of people flock into Cuba to seek and receive it,” she said.
“The medical personnel from Cuba are here not to take charge of our healthcare facilities and intervention in the fight against Covid-19. Instead, they are here to support us in our fight against the novel Covid-19 pandemic. Thus, I call all departmental officials who are going to be hosting these great treasures, to treat them with humility, care and respect, for they are here to assist us in our fight with this pandemic, and not to steal our jobs or anything of that sort. We are in a fight against this virus and all the necessary help should be welcomed with open arms.
“We will try by all means to make sure that you are taken care of well, that you create great memories of your stay in our province and take good stories back to Cuba on how you saved lives and arrested the spread of this virus in South Africa and our province.
“Your service to humanity brought you here as per the directives of Comandante Fidel Castro, who said that people will not die anywhere in the world for as long as Cuba and her doctors are available, and your service to humanity is not restricted by border.”