Cuba Hosts 1st Course in Latin America and Caribbean on Medical Aspects of Assistance and Protection against Chemical Weapons

Participants at the 1st Course in Latin America and Caribbean on Medical Aspects of Assistance and Protection against Chemical Weapons, which was held in Cuba in October 2014.

The OPCW and the Government of the Republic of Cuba co-organised a Course on Medical Aspects of Assistance and Protection against Chemical Weapons for OPCW Member States in Latin America and the Caribbean from 20 to 23 October 2014 in Havana. Organised in close cooperation with Cuba’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment and Ministry of Health, the course trained 43 participants from 18 countries in the region* plus China and Turkey.

In his opening speech to the course [PDF – 17.2 KB] the OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, underlined that the medical response to mitigate the impact of chemical attacks and accidental releases of toxic chemicals is a top priority of OPCW’s capacity-building efforts in the area of assistance and protection.

The programme covered medical assistance during incidents with toxic industrial chemicals, psychological health care in emergency situations, treatment for injuries from chemical warfare agents (CWAs), and the long-term health effects of exposure to CWAs, inter alia. The course also included lectures at the National Centre for Toxicology, a table-top exercise, and an exercise on the reception, treatment and rehabilitation of injured persons at a hospital.

Organized for the first time in this region, the course enjoyed wide acceptance among the participating Member States and provided a platform for knowledge and information exchange.*Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Granada, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St. Lucia, Uruguay

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