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Farewell ceremony to Cuban collaboration medical doctors and sport and agriculture experts

Feb 2, 2012, 12:19 PM

The Cooperation relationship between Cuba and The Gambia, has had a satisfactory course during these long years of hard working in favor of the Gambian people´s health, sport and agriculture.

The Cuban Medical Staff, so as the Sports and Agriculture cooperation experts, have given the Gambia people and non-Gambians as well, their scientific knowledge, solidarity, understanding, hope, and their own best feelings in bringing the country and its people the most outstanding results in these fields for the benefit of The Gambia as a whole, towards the Goals of Vision 2020.

In fact, Cubans have also fed from our host deepest true friendship and solidarity, kindness to help any time needed, honesty and love from the bottom of their hearts.

As the proverb goes, “Saying goodbye is sad”, but the most significant projection is to let other Cubans come and do, for the continuous strengthening and development of the friendship existing between our two countries, having the sky as a limit.

A farewell ceremony for some Cuban doctors serving in the Gambia was recently held at the School of Medicine of the Republic of The Gambia, and it was presided over by Honourable Sireh Jallow, Permanente Secretary for Health and Social Welfare; Honourable Mrs. Fatim Badjie, Minister of Health and Social Welfare; Honourable Dr. Ahmed Secka, Director of the RVTH of The Gambia; H.E. Mrs. Ines Fors Fernandez, Cuban Ambassador to The Gambia; and Dr. Marcial Lopez Dominguez, Head of the Cuban Medical Staff working in The Gambia.

Minister Honourable Fatim Badjie, addressed the audience, and thank the Cuban Medical Doctors on behalf of His Excellency Shiekh Professor Alhaji Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh, the people of The Gambia, for the work they have been doing.

She stressed the fact that not only The Gambian people received care, love and hope from the Cubans, but they also have from The Gambia its culture and even its languages.

Health minister Badjie thanked the Cuban Doctors’ families, for they have been waiting for their relatives for so long, and praised the Almighty God they are well.

Others who addressed the audience were Dr. Rovin Ramons, on behalf of his colleagues; Dr. Marcial Lopez Dominguez, Head of the Cuban Medical Staff, and H.E. Mrs. Ines Fors Fernandez, Cuban Ambassador to the Gambia, who also thank The Gambia Minister of Health and Social Welfare for her kind words.

Cuban Medical Doctors have been doing so much for The Gambia people, that not only their appreciation talks for them, also the following facts:

Total daily out-patients service:  674,820 patients

General Medical Doctors assistance to 450,327, each doctor assisted 7,263 Gambian

Surgecal Operations, 7,707

Professional Training of Human Resources in Banjul Medical School, Gambian 258 students  

Technical Consultative on Health, especially in Tuberculosis, HIV and the control of quality in studies on malaria and vectors

But in the last more than a decade of Cuban Medical Doctors Staff in The Gambia, the health indicators have shown the efforts to get levels sky-high for this country, whose infant mortality is 87% --out of Cuba’s 4,9% in the 2011: live expectancy of 58,5, while Cuba is 79.1, just to illustrate differences in Human Development Index among the two countries.  As for the figures of their work: 

1. Lives saved: 114´141, corresponding to patients on the point of death due to chronic illnesses or those putting life in danger.

2. The Medical assistance coverage in institutions has ranged between 80% (maximum 2004) and 35% (nowadays). This has facilitated the population access to medical services in all rural regions. Cuban professionals have always been in direct contact with the Gambian population carrying out activities for health promotion and prevention of illnesses. We were able to do In 10 years now:

162 017 Medical consultations, from them 1 551 099 visits to isolated communities and villas (trekking).

125 934 Surgical operations, from them 34 352 major operations.

305 917 Deliveries, from them  6 515 by C-section.

1712 202 Ancillary tests (laboratory test, image screening and pathology)

3. Reduction of children and pregnant women mortality in the population assisted by the Cuban Medical Team. Statistical registration books demonstrate such markers, though they are not extendable to statistics all over the country.

4. Increase of diagnosis and medical treatment quality by the opening of new services (Haemodialysis, Computerized Tomography, and Ultrasonography, among others).  There are 25 different medical specialties and 15 technical ones that favour the functioning of Secondary Health Care institutions.

5. Technical specialized consultancy to Infectious Diseases Control Programmes (Malaria, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and others), this has permitted to design strategies and develop plans to reduce the morbidity and mortality rates due to these causes.

6. Formation of medical human resources, having graduated 76 professionals; and in the coming 5 years the minimum figures the country needs for a sustainable medical service and the introduction of the Family Medicine service in rural communities will be reached.

7. Training of hundreds of technicians to improve the quality of services offered to the population.

Cuba has developed deep ties with Africa. Cooperation with the continent is an essential component of the foreign policy of the Revolution. Thanks to this policy, more than 32,000 Africans have graduated from Cuban universities and today 2,253 students from 45 African countries are currently studying at our universities; one thousand 982 Cuban doctors and health professionals that worked in 35 African countries gave almost 7 million medical consultations, assisted some 100 thousand births and performed around 200 thousand surgeries.  And these are real facts, not mere rhetoric talk.

Cuban Embassy, The Gambia