South Africa should join a Cuban-Norwegian medical aid project in Haiti,
Cuban officials suggested during an annual bilateral meeting Aug. 30 in
A Cuban expert delegation visited Norway in September 2010, to talk
about joint relief work in Haiti and cooperation in natural disaster
prevention and response. In October 2010, the Scandinavian country
provided 5 million Norwegian kronor ($850,000) to Cuban relief efforts
in Haiti. Cuba is using the Norwegian contribution — the second after a
$850,000 check in January — for the purchase of drugs and medical
equipment for its 930-member medical brigade in Haiti.
South African Deputy Foreign Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim said during the
Joint Consultative Mechanism meeting in Havana that he appreciated
services Cuba provides in his own country.
"The deployment of architects, engineers, doctors and technical experts
throughout the country rendering service to South African citizens bears
testimony to Cuba's commitment," Ebrahim said, according to South
African government agency BuaNews.
During the bilateral meeting, officials also talked about South African
aid for Cuban medical projects elsewhere in Africa. South Africa has
provided several million dollars to support the presence of Cuban
doctors in Mali and Rwanda, and funded Cuban-designed anti-malaria
campaigns in Ghana and Tanzania.
"Possibilities for further similar projects are being explored," BuaNews
said, without providing details.
Cuba has deployed 1,831 medical personnel in Africa, and provided full
scholarships to 2,299 medical students from 48 African countries,
according to Ebrahim.
Cuba's medical expertise in disaster and poverty zones is unique in the
world. An increasing number of wealthier countries outsource their aid
efforts to Cuba.