Cuban doctors reaffirm their humanist convictions

Recent medical graduates Dayana Rondón Pérez (left) and Yunisleidys Herrera Ramos receive training to treat intensive care patients in Venezuela. Photo: Nuria Barbosa

Cuban medical brigades, which will be travelling to Venezuela to offer healthcare services to the population in different missions across the country, are currently being prepared at the island’s Central Unit for Medical Collaboration.

Granma International spoke with Dr. Yunisleidys Herrera Ramos, a 23 year old physician working at the Octavio de la Concepción y la Pedraja policlinic in Camajuaní, Villa Clara province, and one of the healthcare professionals heading to Venezuela. There she will be stationed at an intensive care unit in one of the Comprehensive Diagnostic Centers created by the Bolivarian Revolution.

Herrera explained that in the final years of her degree, the faculty conducted a rigorous process to select and train the top students, who would then go on to participate on Cuban medical missions in different countries, principally Venezuela.

According to the young doctor, it was during her time at university that she was instilled with the humanist values essential for all medical professionals in their efforts to help those in need; citing as her inspiration the examples of several prestigious doctors, above all Ernesto Che Guevara, the greatest exponent of internationalism.

Given that she will be working in the intensive care unit, Herrera stressed the importance of having strong knowledge and skills, as sometimes doctors are required to make life or death decisions. As such she noted that caring for acutely ill patients is both a rigorous and complicated task, “because we try to bring them out of a terminal state and back to life,” she stated.

Meanwhile her colleague, 24 year old Dr. Dayana Rondón Pérez, who works at the Manuel Fajardo Rivero polyclinic also in Camajuaní agrees, noting that it requires skill, dedication, and round the clock care by healthcare professionals to keep such patients alive. In this sense she cited the example of her father, currently working as an intensive care specialist in Venezuela. “His name is Félix Rondón and I would like to work with him on this mission,” she stated.

According to what her father has taught her, Dayana knows that Cuba and Venezuela have similar climates and cultures, but that the South American country is currently in the process of building a new kind of society, one far removed from capitalism.

Regarding her work as a doctor, she hopes to become a leading professional in her field, to do her best to save lives and give back to the country which instilled humanist values in her. “I want those around me to feel proud of me, and to be able to contribute to humanity.”

Likewise, 31 year old Pharmacy specialist Margarita Sánchez Cantón, who works at the medicines department in the Mario Pozo Ochoa polyclinic, in the eastern province of Las Tunas, noted that she was selected to participate on the mission given her outstanding track-record.

“I’m very active and have signed up for courses like those on tropical diseases, and continue to up-date my knowledge on the global situation.” As a pharmacist, Sánchez Cantón noted, “We work in accordance with international standards,” her knowledge and expertise of which she will apply in Venezuela. “I will discover something new in the homeland of Simón Bolivar, but I’m not afraid, in fact I’m full of strength, confidence, and positive energy,” she stated.

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