Zimbabwe: Cuba Pledges to Send More Doctors, Specialists
- Submitted by: admin
- Health and Medicine
- 12 / 12 / 2006
Cuba has pledged to send additional doctors and medical specialists to Zimbabwe in a bid to alleviate the crippling shortage of manpower in the health sector.
Visiting Cuban Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs responsible for International Co-operation Cde Yillian Jiamenz yesterday told Health and Child Welfare Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa during a meeting that her country wanted all provinces in Zimbabwe to have adequate numbers of doctors and specialists.
The contingent of additional doctors is expected into the country early next year.
Currently, 138 Cuban doctors and medical specialists are practising in Zimbabwe under an agreement between the two governments.
Cde Jiamenz said many of the Cuban doctors and specialists could not be brought to Zimbabwe because of their poor command of the English language.
She said the communication problem would be addressed.
Cde Jiamenz said Cuba would stand by Zimbabwe throughout the challenges the country was facing.
"We understand the source of the economic problems in this country. We will be here with you as long as you need us and as long as you think our co-operation is useful to this country," Cde Jiamenz said.
She expressed satisfaction with the work the Cuban doctors were doing for Zimbabwe and the way the Government of Zimbabwe was treating them.
"We are satisfied that they are happy. They are sharing their experiences with other doctors and patients in Zimbabwe," she said.
The deputy minister said Cuba had offered its medical professors to train doctors in the country at hospitals.
She said such training would ensure that doctors remained in the country and had proved useful in Cuba and other African countries where Cuba had introduced the system.
Dr Parirenyatwa saluted the Cuban government for its assistance to Zimbabwe, especially in the health sector.
"We would like to increase the number of specialists mainly because we want to capacitate our provincial hospitals. We are pleased with what the specialists are doing," Dr Parirenyatwa said.
He announced that Government was working on improving the allowances for the Cuban specialists in line with inflation.
Dr Parirenyatwa said Zimbabwe, like Cuba, was reeling under illegal sanctions from the West, hence the need for closer co-operation between the two countries.
He said Zimbabwe trained about 200 doctors each year, but most of them leave the country or opt for private practice soon after qualification.
He said this year had seen an improvement in the number of junior doctors after 145 were deployed to district hospitals.
Cuban Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Cosme Torres Espinosa, embassy counsellor Ms Lourdes Bassue, head of the medical brigade Mr Eligillo Gonzalez and Zimbabwe's Secretary for Health and Child Welfare Dr Edward Mabhiza attended the meeting.