Tribute to Fidel Castro

2016-12-14 06:01
PHOTO: supplied KZN Health MEC, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo paid tribute to Cuban President Fidel Castro who died recently.

PHOTO: supplied KZN Health MEC, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo paid tribute to Cuban President Fidel Castro who died recently.

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IN a moving tribute at Greys Hospital, KwaZulu-Natal Cuban trained doctors and specialists who are Cuban nationals hailed the late President Fidel Castro as a selfless and visionary revolutionary.

They were joined by KZN Health MEC, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo and his counterpart in Agriculture and Rural Development, MEC Themba Mthembu who is also the Provincial Secretary of the South African Communist Party.

Similarities were drawn between Nelson Mandela and Fidel Castro and the strong bond they shared and the partnership with Cuba and South Africa to improve the health status of this country emphasised.

Cuba was also hailed for not only contributing to African independence, freedom, and justice but for its continuing support in equipping the country to deal with a meander of diseases it is faced with.

Mandela and Castro pact, now known as SA-Cuba Health Cooperation Agreement, made it possible for Cuba to assist in tackling South Africa’s problem of the shortage of doctors. This was made possible by the fact that Cuba has 22 medical schools while South Africa only has eight.

“Today we are proud to state that Castro made it possible for so many of our doctors from poor backgrounds to break the chains of poverty in their families. They are now working in our health system, improving access of health to the people. Most of those are working in rural hospitals and clinics where South African trained doctors and specialists refuse to go,” said Dhlomo.

Since its inception in 1996, 940 students have been on the Cuban Medical Training Programme from KZN with 104 having completed and 743 still in training at various levels of study. Dhlomo thanked Cuba for providing the province with qualified Cuban doctors and specialists, some of whom were present at the service. He pointed out that KZN is a recipient of a total of 33 of those doctors deployed mainly in rural hospitals.

“I also personally thank you as your presence and availability there has curtailed the movement and transportation of patients from the rural areas to tertiary hospitals in the cities just to receive medical attention. People are now getting advanced quality health care in District hospitals closer to their home,” he said. - Supplied

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