14ymedio, Havana, June 26, 2020 – A brigade of 15 Cuban doctors arrived this Friday for the first time in a French territory, the island of Martinique in the Antilles, to strengthen the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The President of the Martinique Collective receives on the airport runway the Medical Brigade of Cuba that arrived on this territory to offer medical assistance to confront Covid-19,” the Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Cuban Chancellor, Eugenio Martínez, informed the local press.
The mission will last three months and will cover the lack of specialists in areas like pneumology, infectious disease, radiology and intensive medicine, according to Martinique authorities.
The daily France-Antilles published on its front page that the delegation of Cuban health workers arrived in Martinique at noon on Friday, on a special flight of Air Antilles Express, and was received with honors by the President of the Executive Council, Alfred Marie-Jeanne.
The newspaper explained that the doctors, “expected since April,” would work in the University Hospital Center in the Saint-Paul Clinic on the island.
The French Parliament approved, last year, a project to reform the health system that included a process whereby the territories of the French Antilles could contract doctors and health workers outside the European Union, in order to facilitate the recruitment of Cuban specialists. At the time, they expressly mentioned the sponsors, the senators from Guadeloupe and Martinique, Dominique Théophile and Catherine Conconne, respectively.
In addition to the contingent sent to Martinique, Cuba sent this Friday another two medical brigades of its “Henry Reeve” international contingent, to Anguilla, in the Caribbean, and to Guinea-Bissau, in Africa, State media reported.
The brigades that will provide service in Anguilla consist of five health workers, while the one going to Guinea-Bissau has 23 health professionals who will be added to another Cuban brigade working in that country, according to the Cuban News Agency.
Havana has 29,000 health workers in 59 countries, including some 3,300 who participate in the battle against Covid-19 in 29 nations. Last Saturday, one of the doctors, who held an important position in the brigade deployed to Andorra, defected along with a nurse.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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