An embrace from the homeland, a duty fulfilled

Jun 14, 2019 by

An embrace from the homeland, a duty fulfilled

The Henry Reeve Brigade’s 40 physicians, who offered their services in Mozambique following Hurricane Idai, return home

Photo: Ricardo López Hevia

A handshake, a pat on the back, a hug. “Thank you for allowing us to count on you, welcome home; your family awaits you.”

With these words, and the satisfaction of having fulfilled a duty, Cuba’s Minister of Public Health, José A. Portal Miranda greeted the 40 Cuban doctors who since March 29 offered their support in Beira, Mozambique, providing specialized attention to the population following the devastating Hurricane Idai.

On his Twitter account, Cuban President, Miguel Díaz-Canel highlighted the brigade’s solidarity, providing much needed services in the African nation.

In his message he pointed out that this is one more page in the history of Cuba’s truly internationalist cooperation.

The Henry Reeve Contingent’s Brigade No.28 included surgeons, anesthesiologists, orthopedists, epidemiologists, general practitioners, nurses, and specialists in electro-medicine, who joined the 372 Cuban medical collaborators working in Mozambique before the hurricane.

Yusnier Garay Valdés is 35 years of age and this was his first mission with the Henry Reeve Contingent. Sharing his impressions, he insisted that the high quality of the work done was most important, achieved thanks to the unity of the entire brigade.

“The conditions were shocking, since unlike Cubans, Mozambicans are not accustomed to the occurrence of meteorological events of this type. In the field hospital we cared for all those in need, whether they were victims (of the storm) or simply sick. For me it was a unique experience, and I hope that the Cuban people and public health system are happy with the work we did,” added the imaging specialist at Havana’s at Manuel Fajardo Hospital.

DURING THE BRIGADE’S 63 DAYS IN MOZAMBIQUE:

22,259 Patients assisted

331 Surgeries performed

631 Patients provided specialized attention

1,858 Nursing procedures performed

1,437 Lab tests conducted

1,590 Radiological studies conducted

22,111 Educational activities presented

THE HENRY REEVE INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CONTINGENT SPECIALIZING IN DISASTER SITUATIONS AND SERIOUS EPIDEMICS

– Constituted September 19, 2005 by Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz.- Awarded 2017 Public Health Prize by the World Health Organization (WHO)in recognition of its international solidarity work in confronting natural disasters and serious epidemics.- Through 2017, 7,491 health professionals trained for this type of mission have assisted more than 3,500,000 persons and saved the lives of more than 80,000.-The brigade in Mozambique was the Contingent’s 28th, to reach a total of 7,591 health professionals who have participated in such unique experiences.CUBAN COLLABORATION IN HEALTH- Medical assistance in 164 countries provided by 407,419 collaborators over the years.- In 2018 alone, 36 000 Cuban medical professionals served in 66 countries, including 18,000 doctors.

SOURCE: UCCM

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