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Cuba and Kiribati Increase Cooperation in Health Sector
The document was signed in Havana by Cuban Health Minister Jose Ramon Balaguer and by his Kiribati counterpart, Riteti Maninraka, in a ceremony that was presided over by Anote Tong, President of this small island-state of the Pacific.

The Cuban official said that the agreement reaffirms the close bilateral ties of friendship and the commitment of both governments to continue strengthening cooperation.

“We are sister nations, two small islands facing big challenges,” Balaguer stressed.

As a result of this new agreement, the Cuban medical brigade in Kiribati, which arrived there in 2006, will increase its number from 15 to 25 health professionals and even to 32 if circumstances allow it.

Cuba and Kiribati established diplomatic relations in September 2002 and their ties have strengthened ever since.

Since 2006, as part of a new program to train health professionals in Cuba, a school for youths from small island-states of the Pacific is operating. There are currently 20 students from Kiribati being trained as doctors there, as well as two from Nauru, 25 from Salomon Islands and 17 from Vanuatu.

The President of Kiribati was in Cuba participating in the First Cuba-Pacific Islands Ministerial Meeting that concluded in Havana and which served to strengthen cooperation ties between Cuba and 10 small island-states from the Pacific region.

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