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45th anniversary of the founding of the Victoria de Girón Institute of Basic Science and Medical Preparation.

The exceptional contribution of President Fidel Castro to the training of medical professionals was highlighted yesterday in a ceremony commemorating the 45th anniversary of the founding of the Victoria de Girón Institute of Basic Science and Medical Preparation.

Fidel can be credited with the founding of the school precisely during the 1962 October (Missile) Crisis and the exodus of doctors to the United States, and as a result of the new concept of rural social services, of free preventative medical care within the reach of all and internationalist as well, explained José Miyar Barrueco, secretary of the Council of State, at the event.

Barrueco, as well as José Ramón Machado Ventura, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Cuba, and Health Minister José Ramón Balaguer were awarded honorary degrees from the Havana Higher Institute of Medical Science by its rector, Jorge González.

In the presence of the schools founding students, many of them now outstanding professionals, professors and health workers, Dr. Miyar Barrueco expressed his gratitude for the great honor of having participated, with others, along side President Fidel Castro in the realization of plans and programs associated with the training of doctors, nurses and health technicians.

He affirmed that at 45 years since its founding the Victoria de Girón Institute continues to bring prestige to the Cuban public health system and the teaching of medicine, without forgetting that it was there that for the first time Fidel spoke of the importance of every graduate serving wherever the revolution required and of educating themselves in the noblest humanitarian and internationalist ideals.

Barrueco pointed out that the emergence of the school constituted a direct expression of an ideology and a policy inexistent in the world at that time and that these are evident today within the study plans of universities and medical faculties in Cuba.

Cuba remains the country with the most doctors per person in the world, affirmed Barrueco, recalling that the number of physicians has reached 71,389, while in Sub-Saharan African countries public health is totally inadequate as a result of the brain drain, AIDS and other calamities.

Another moving moment was the awarding of the teaching distinction of Emeritus Professor to the eminent doctors José Roberto Aquino Cías, Nibaldo Basilio Hernández Mesa, Anthonio González Griego, Eduardo Lino Basdcó Fuentes and Juan Vela Valdés.

Dr. Mercedes Gámez, general director of the center, said that the event represented 45 years of work and dedication to the training of more than 40,000 students and that in the name of all who have passed through its classrooms, she sent warm greetings to the centers most important inspiration, President Fidel Castro.

Source: Granma Internacional

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