A team of 113 Cuban medical professionals arrived in Saint Lucia last week to support the island’s national response efforts for COVID-19.
The team comprised of 100 nurses, 6 general practitioners, 3 intensive care physicians and 2 epidemiologists.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Sharon Belmar-George commended the government and people of the Republic of Cuba for their commitment to provide assistance in health care to aid in the battle against COVID-19.
“The Department of Health and Wellness has been monitoring closely the escalation in the classification of the outbreaks and in collaboration with all stakeholders have strengthened systems to reduce the possible impact on our population,” Belmar-George said.
She added, “One important gap that we recognize was that of human resource capacity in relation to health care workers to support their expected increases within the community respiratory clinics and the respiratory hospital. This led to us reaching out to the Cuban government for support in this regard.”
Minister for Health and Wellness Sen. Mary Isaac lauded the solidarity of the Cuban government, saying she is extremely grateful for the immediate assistance to help Saint Lucia fight COVID-19.
“It is with a lot of excitement and emotion that I look at you here today and I know the effort. I know the work; I know the solidarity that has gone into being who you are today and you coming here to help us in Saint Lucia. I am just so thankful and so grateful and I thank God for your presence here today because we really need you, we need your assistance and just by the way you present yourself, it is so professional, I can see that you are here to help us.”
Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba to Saint Lucia Alejandro Simancas Marin emphasized on the strong ties of friendship between Cuba and Saint Lucia and encouraged the medical professionals to accomplish their mission diligently.
“Today, we are proud and honoured to receive this group made of doctors, nurses and bio-medical engineers. They have come from different provinces of Cuba, and as you can see, they come from different generations: some of them have experience and some of them have less. Most of them are women, which is good but all of them have in common, the commitment to work together with the government and people of the sister isle of Saint Lucia in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.”
The Cuban medical professionals are currently undergoing quarantine for 14 days before commencement of duties.