Cuban doctors in South Africa fight against Covid-19

Pretoria, Mar 30 (Prensa Latina) About 200 doctors from Cuba are helping to stop Covid-19 in South Africa, the country most affected in Africa by the epidemic, and where the last count placed the number of infected with SARS-CoV-2 at 1,170.

As Dr. Reynaldo Denis de Armas, chief of the Cuban medical brigade, explained to Prensa Latina, the Cuban doctors are distributed in eight of the country’s nine provinces, and are working in 111 health institutions, at the regional and district levels, as well as in rural, difficult to access areas.

De Armas explained that in anticipation of the country’s current health status, all the personnel were trained in relation to work under the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to General Comprehensive Medicine specialist Oyantais Matos, who is working in Soweto, Johannesburg, she is currently making direct consultations with patients suffering acute respiratory conditions who are attending the Chiawelo community clinic.

In the clinic, she says, some patients appreciate the presence of the Cuban doctors, while others wonder how Cuba can send that many doctors to different countries to assist.

Specialist Matos adds that as a peculiarity of her work, of the 12 interns with whom they are working, seven studied and graduated as doctors in Cuba.

Doctor Belkis Gomez, who is working at the Casualty Hospital of the Free State province, told how in the process of detecting possible suspected cases of the disease, she emphasizes education to the population regarding prevention as the main measure to cut transmission.

Cuban Ambassador to South Africa Rodolfo Benitez met this week the Health Minister of South Africa Zweli Mkhize; during the meeting they focused on joint efforts to tackle the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

Mkhize conveyed to Benitez the gratitude of the South African people and government for the professional and consecrated work of the Cuban doctors in the country, as well as for the training of the more than 600 young people who will graduate as doctors this year as part of the Nelson Mandela-Fidel Castro Cooperation Program.

According to a press release from the Cuban diplomatic mission, this will be the largest graduation of doctors in the history of South Africa so far.

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