South Africa’s health ministry has congratulated Cuba on its 60th anniversary of international medical support and cooperation to save lives through dedicated medical brigades across the world.
South Africa is amongst the nations that have benefitted from social solidarity, excellent internationalism and medical cooperation with Cuba through medical doctors and specialists, which immensely contributed to the country’s health system strengthening and pandemic response.
According to a statement released on Wednesday, South Africa benefitted from this impactful support since 1997 through both medical specialists who have been seconded to the country and the Nelson Mandela Fidel Castro Medical Training Programme.
The programme produced over 3 000 medical doctors who graduated from various Cuban universities and were largely employed in underserved communities.
The Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Sibongiseni Dhlomo, described South Africa as one of the lucky nations to benefit from this global health cooperation, which complements the country’s medical schools to produce the much-needed medical specialists in a quest for government to address the shortage of doctors.
“South Africa would not have benefitted from this fruitful cooperation if it were not for the efforts by the globally admired revolutionary freedom fighters of the two countries, Nelson Mandela and Fidel Castro, who believed that health is the biggest wealth anybody can have.
“Having an educated and trained workforce is not sufficient, but physical and mental well-being is necessary for productivity,” said Dhlomo.