Cuba celebrates 60 years of international medical cooperation

Cuba is celebrating 60 years of medical cooperation with 165 nations, where 605,000 health professionals and technicians have saved lives and eradicated diseases.

henry reeve medical brigade
The members of the Henry Reeve medical brigades have helped many countries to get rid of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Abel González Alayón).

After the triumph of the Revolution in January 1959, Cuba decided to undertake a project which is maintained today with 57 brigades formed by 22,632 collaborators in 57 countries in all the continents.

Back in 1960, a small team of doctors was sent to Chile to help the country after an earthquake, in what constituted the first experience in health internationalism after the triumph of the Revolution. Then, in May 1963, the first brigade of Cuban doctors was sent to Algeria.

This is a task that more than a few are determined to discredit with lies and distortions despite the favorable balance of each solved health emergency, having saved over eight million lives and carrying out almost 16 thousand surgical operations.

The medical brigades and the Henry Reeve International Contingent Specialized in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics have provided their services in missions in countries at war or devastated by hurricanes, earthquakes and outbreaks of Ebola, cholera and Covid-19.

An example of the aforementioned is the permanent aid provided for 25 years to the people of Haiti, hit by natural disasters, epidemics and political and social crises, and where Cuban doctors have been present, even in the most difficult times.

The director of the Central Unit for Medical Cooperation, Dr. Michael Cabrera Laza, highlighted the work of the 58 medical brigades that fought Covid-19 in 42 nations, an experience that, in his opinion, marked a before and an after in health cooperation offered by Cuba to the world.

Requests for medical brigades follow one after another, even to renew missions that already ended and opening new ones in developed countries such as Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, among others.

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