“You return to your homeland with your duty fulfilled, Henry Reeve Brigade. Thirty-two employees who provided health care after the earthquake in Türkiye. The homeland looks at you with pride,” the General Secretary General of the National Union of Health Workers, Santiago Badia, wrote on his Twitter account.
In statements to Prensa Latina, Cuban Public Health Minister Jose Angel Portal said that the best award for Cuba is the peoples’ recognition of the humanistic work of its medical personnel at any latitude.
The Henry Reeve International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics has written chapters on the fight against cholera in Haiti, on the fight against Ebola in West Africa, and on the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
This altruistic feat was possible with brigades that completed missions in more than 40 countries, just to mention a few examples.
For these reasons, solidarity organizations from several nations, political forces, public officials, artists, writers and personalities from all latitudes launched a campaign to promote the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to these professionals.
The desire of many never materialized; however, Cuba responded to the call from Türkiye to offer its solidarity to its people who suffered from the consequences of a devastating earthquake.
We do not work for prizes, we do it to save lives, for the good of humanity, the Cuban minister emphasized.
The principle of solidarity is something that always characterizes us, and we will be there, as we have done with other peoples on different occasions.
It’s nothing new, we did it on other occasions, and there were many professionals who expressed their willingness to leave for Türkiye.
The group was made up of 32 professionals, 28 men and four women, including 20 medical experts and 11 graduates, among whom were nurses, epidemiologists and service personnel.
In addition, 56.9 percent of them were between the ages of 30 and 45, and have more than five years of work experience in the sector.
Likewise, 69 percent of the brigades members have accomplished internationalist and emergency missions in Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Guinea and Liberia in the fight against Ebola, and Kuwait and Andorra in the fight to contain Covid-19.