Henry Reeve Medical Contingent Sent to Azerbaijan a Year Ago Returns to Cuba

The contingent arrives in Cuba at a critical moment, when Covid infections continue to rise. (Ministry of Health)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 9 July 2021 —  With the habitual pomp and publicity from the Cuban Government, the contingent of medical workers from the Henry Reeve Brigade that had been sent to Azerbaijan last year to help fight the Covid pandemic landed at the José Martí airport in Havana on Thursday.

The official press mentioned that the group, which worked at the Baku General Hospital, is made up of 113 people: 53 doctors, 49 nurses, two graduates in Electromedicine, two in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, two in Hygiene and Epidemiology, two in Imaging, one in Virology, a language teacher and a “Health Administrator.” However, in the news of his departure, on July 12, 2020, it was reported that he was made up of 115 people.

At the time, the island’s foreign minister, Bruno Rodríguez, wrote on his Twitter account that the mission in the Eurasian country “will be to share Cuba’s experience against the pandemic and will reinforce the cooperation that these times demand.”

 With regards to the care for the coronavirus, the state newspaper Granma highlighted on Friday that “they gave the courses of Action Protocol for patients with Covid-19: Mechanical Ventilation and Gasometry and Hydromineral Balance.” The official note states that the contingent carried out “77,390 medical appointments” and “saved 1,960 lives.” Among the tasks carried out, Granma also highlights the assistance to 287 pregnant women and 31 “major operations” (without specifying whether or not they have to do with the pandemic).

It was the first time that the Island sent its doctors to Azerbaijan, where the coronavirus has claimed 4,980 lives and has left a total of 336,788 confirmed cases so far, according to an independent count from John Hopkins University in the United States.

This contingent arrives in Cuba at a critical time, when infections in the country are continuing to rise. The Brigade was mobilized this week to help in the hospitals in Matanzas province, which are completely overwhelmed by the situation.


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