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Cuba sends more docs to Haiti

Rickey Singh

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CUBA’S LATEST inspiring example of commitment to the suffering masses in Haiti is the rushing, this past weekend, of an additional 300 doctors, nurses and health technicians to that earthquake wrecked and cholera-plagued poverty-stricken nation of our Caribbean Community (Caricom).
This demonstration of practical solidarity, characteristic of the government and people of Cuba in responding to human tragedies across continents, has resulted from an international appeal by Valerie Amos, United Nations under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs.
As Haitians continued burying their dead from the cholera epidemic – there could be no confirmation from the Caricom Secretariat yesterday on the current number of doctors and health workers mobilised for services in Haiti since the outbreak of cholera.
In the unfolding tragedies of Haiti, the earthquake of January destroyed the water and sewer network wherever they had existed, and where millions live in tents and often lacking latrines and “everything gets mixed up together. . . .”
In embracing the plea of the UN’s officials for quick and meaningful responses with emergency assistance of medical personnel and resources, the former leader of Cuba for some half a century, said that only ten per cent of affected Haitians living outside of the capital, Port-au-Prince, had received supplies of clean water and soap.
In reporting on the work of the Cuban Medical Brigade in Haiti, now reinforced with last weekend’s contingent of about 300 doctors and  nurses and health workers of the Henry Reeves Brigade, Raoul Castro explained:
“Almost 40 per cent of the sick have been looked after by members of the Cuban Medical Brigade which has 965 doctors, nurses and technicians who have managed to reduce the number of dead (from cholera) to less than one for one hundred . . . .”
In a general appeal Castro stressed that it was “of vital importance that we avoid the epidemic extending to other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean because in today’s circumstances  this would cause extraordinary harm to the nations in this hemisphere.
“We urgently need to seek efficient and rapid solutions in the fight against that epidemic.”