Cuban Minister of Public Health: Only cooperation and international solidarity can save humanity

During 73rd World Health Assembly, José Angel Portal Miranda insists that complementary joint efforts by nations are urgently needed

Photo:MINSAP

Ana Laura Palomino García, [email protected]

November 23, 2020

With the moral authority that allows Cuba to practice international collaboration in health care, in the face of the universal dangers that the COVID-19 epidemic has presented, the country’s Minister of Public Health reiterated that only complementary efforts by nations can contribute to overcoming the pandemic.

“We reaffirm our absolute conviction that only cooperation and international solidarity can save humanity,” stated José Angel Portal Miranda, during the 73rd World Health Assembly, held virtually November 10.

He insisted emphatically, “COVID-19 has caused an unimaginable crisis in the world and no country or sector has escaped it,” citing the modest internationalist work of the Henry Reeve Medical Contingent as an example of how much could be done when national efforts are shared.

He stressed that the Contingent alone has sent 53 brigades of health professionals to help combat the disease in 39 countries, in addition to Cuban personnel already working in 58 nations.

Portal Miranda also noted the importance of designing national plans that are comprehensive and inter-sectorial, as Cuban authorities did, even before the first cases were reported.

“The capacity in terms of infrastructure, organization and human capital of our public health system has been decisive, with its unique characteristics as a free system, accessible to 100% of the population, based on primary health care and with the family doctor and nurse as its main strength; along with the use of products, equipment and novel inputs from the Cuban medical-pharmaceutical and biotechnological industry,” he stated.

The Minister added that this strategy has made possible the recovery of 91.3% of COVID-10 patients here, and prevented deaths among children and adolescents.

He pointed out that everything Cuba has done to confront the pandemic, both within the nation and with its international solidarity, has been conducted under the difficult conditions created by the U.S. government imposed blockade, and this country’s constant attempts to discredit and disrupt our medical cooperation around the world.

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