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Cuban physicians

Cuban health professionals are providing medical services in Ethiopia in order to curb the shortage of skills in some medical fields in the African country.

Acting head of human resource development in the Ethiopian health ministry, Yohannes Tadesse, on Monday said Cuban health professionals were providing medical services at the Black Lion, St. Paul, Zewditu, Yekatit 12 and Minilik II hospitals in Addis Ababa.

The Cuban doctors and others have been working in gynaecology, dentistry and with autopsies.

The Latin American country is currently training some 30 000 foreign doctors, including South Africans.

Cuba has collaborated with 154 nations from 1961 until the present, sending more than 270 000 collaborators, of which 132 000 are health professionals.

By July 2006, a total of 430 South African medical students had been enrolled in the programme with Cuba, as part of an agreement signed between the two nations in 1995.

The agreement also includes the recruitment of Cuban doctors to work in rural areas in South Africa, which also has a shortage of medical doctors in the public health sector, particularly those willing to work in rural areas.

After being selected for the training programme, the South African students study for five years in Cuba and write the National Final Cuban Examinations.

The trainee-doctors then return to South Africa on the sixth year to do their final clinical year and internship in various South African health-science faculties, particularly those in the under-resourced areas.

The students then sit for a South African examination with the rest of the country's medical students to qualify as doctors.

Through the Joint Bilateral Commission on Economic, Scientific, Technical and Business Cooperation, South Africa and Cuba collaborate in sectors including trade, investment, finance, mining, electricity, sport and recreation and science. -

Source: BuaNews-NNN

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