Cuban Medical Brigade in Remote Places of the Bolivian Geography

By Adalys Pilar Mireles
Havana, Sep 5 (Prensa Latina) With more than a decade working in Bolivia, the Cuban brigade today provides medical assistance in such intricate places as the Amazon, confirmed the head of that group, Yoandra Muro.

In statements to Prensa Latina, the expert explained that health fairs, an initiative of President Evo Morales, allow these services to be brought closer to residents in remote areas of the Andean country, in which Cuban specialists play a leading role.

Thanks to this idea, we have been able to make diagnoses, indicate treatments in communities that are difficult to access, identify cases that require specialized assessment and follow-up to then conduct them through the national health system, a task that we carry out together with the doctors of the South American nation, she added.

These are scenarios, she said, where hematologists, angiologists, neurosurgeons, surgeons arrive for the first time.

In addition to participating in these massive campaigns, the brigade works permanently in the nine departments, both in primary and secondary care.

In 13 years -she commented- we have been able to save more than 110 thousand lives, attend about 58 thousand births and return or improve the vision to around 700 thousand people among locals, Chileans, Brazilians, Argentines and Ecuadorians, fundamentally.

The medical collaboration at the current levels is the result of the cooperation agreement signed in 2005 by Morales and the leader of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro, which included, in addition to sending brigades, the granting of some five thousand scholarships to young people in Bolivia to study medicine in the greater of the Antilles.

Another result is the impulse to the Mission Milagro ophthalmology program.

In Guayaramerín -one of the municipalities of the Amazon region bordering Brazil- an ophthalmological center operates on cataracts and pterigium patients from that locality, from nearby areas and from the neighboring country, who cross the Mamoré river in small boats to access that surgical therapy, she explained.

Also in Riberalta, called the ‘capital of the Bolivian Amazon,’ doctors from the Caribbean island cure the villagers in the main hospital of that city where they perform procedures as complex as neurosurgery.

Being in so many places has allowed us to know that nation, so rich from a natural and cultural point of view, learning from its people, its customs and health professionals, its practices, protocols, has been a complex but very rewarding task, stressed Wall.

Parallel to daily chores, we support the implementation of the Single Health System conceived from the base in order to offer Bolivians free and dignified health, a purpose of its president, he said.

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