Cuba and The Gambia celebrated 20 years of medical collaboration

20 Aniversario Brigada Médica

The Cuban Medical Brigade in The Gambia dressed in its best to close the programme of activities to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the arrival of the first collaborators of the island to the small African country and the beginning of the medical collaboration between the two nations.

The closing ceremony, covered by the Gambian press and central TV, took place in the main hall of Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital of Banjul, with the presence of the Honorable Ms. Fatou Mbye, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr. Abdoulie Bah, Lord Mayor of Banjul, the Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Honorable Omar Sey, and the Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Gambian Foreign Ministry, Ms. Alice Colley, among others Gambian guests. Also present were the Medical Director of the said hospital, Dr. M.I.A. Khalil, the Provost of the School of Medicine and Allied Sciences of the University of The Gambia, Prof. Ousman Nyan, as well as the President of the Gambia-Cuba Friendship Association, Mr. Modou Grant accompanied by others members of this solidarity organization.

The Cuban Ambassador to The Gambia, Lázaro Herrera and Dr. Cecilia Lora, Head of the Medical Brigade, presided over the ceremony by the Cuban side.

Several guests who took the floor praised the work of the medical collaborators along the last twenty years and the positive impact of their support to ensure the health care of the Gambian population. In this regard, Minister Sey recalled her personal experience working with Cuban doctors whose professionalism and dedication were highlighted, at the time to acknowledge the important support received from Cuba and to express the desire to elevate the collaboration in this field to a higher level.

In his closing remarks, the Cuban Ambassador in Banjul paid tribute to those who have put in high place the name of Cuba along these twenty years, offering their aid across the length and breadth of the African country and also cooperating with the professional training to ensure one of the fundamental rights of the human being, health care. He thanked the support of The Gambia in the important battles that the Caribbean island had to fight in the international arena, particularly the blockade and stressed that Cuban Government and people will never ever forget friends´ support, which, along with the resistance of the Cuban people, has made possible the decisive victories achieved over these years. First Cuban health collaborators arrived in The Gambia in June 1996 following the leader of the Cuban Revolution´s orientation in response to President Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh´s request. Gambia was the first African country where the Cuban Comprehensive Health Program was implemented and the first foreign country to open a Faculty of Medicine, with Cuban professor, based on the Cuban Traditional Model of Medical Sciences Studies.

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