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Cuban Medical Diplomacy

24 March 2020

Cuba and South Africa’s bilateral agreements date as far back as 1996 when the Health Ministry, through a bilateral agreement with the Ministry of Public Health of Cuba, initiated cooperation in the health field.

The cooperation, known as the Nelson Mandela-Fidel Castro Collaboration, consists of three elements, including the undergraduate training programme; recruitment and exchange of health professionals and academics; and exchange in biotechnological and innovation in health.

Mr Rodolfo Benítez Verson, Ambassador of Cuba to South Africa held a working meeting with Dr. Zweli Mkhize, South African Minister of Health as part of the fluid exchanges between the two countries in the implementation of bilateral cooperation programs in the field of health.

On this occasion, the parties focused their attention on joint efforts to confront the pandemic of the new SARS CoV-2 Coronavirus, which causes Covid-19 disease.

Currently there are more than 200 Cuban doctors deployed in 8 South African provinces, who contribute to improve the health of the South African people and have been actively assisting in the testing and treatment of patients with the coronavirus.

Cuba has been assisting many countries in the fight against Covid-19. Earlier this month Cuba allowed the MS Braemar, a British cruise ship with five confirmed cases of the new coronavirus on board, to dock after being turned away by multiple ports.

Amidst US sanctions, Cuban doctors have been deployed to at least 14 countries to assist with the coronavirus pandemic. To date there are over a million cases worldwide and over 70,000 people have died from Covid-19.



February/March 2020













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