The two groups, mostly female, are made up of specialists with experience in other missions outside the island as part of the Henry Reeve international medical contingent.
From Havana, 21 health workers (11 doctors and 10 nurses) left for Guinea Conakry, a country where Cubans already fought Ebola between 2014 and 2016, and with which Cuba has several cooperation agreements.
Parte hacia #Kuwait brigada de 298 especialistas de la salud, quienes ayudarán en el enfrentamiento a la pandemia en ese país.
— Bruno Rodríguez P (@BrunoRguezP) June 5, 2020
Another 96 doctors and 198 nursing graduates will join the 36 collaborators already working in Kuwait, specified the state-run Agencia Cubana de Noticias news agency.
“Cuba, without neglecting the protection of its people, despite the fierce U.S. blockade and the dirty campaign to discredit the altruism of its medical cooperation, has not ceased in its effort to support the world,” First Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Ana Teresita González said at one of the farewells.
These are the 33rd and 34th brigades of the Henry Reeve contingent that have left from Cuba to help control the COVID-19 in response to requests from several governments.
Almost 3,000 Cubans have gone to some 28 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, including Italy, Andorra, Qatar, Mexico, Honduras, Venezuela, Haiti and Jamaica.
Also this Thursday, another group of 85 Cuban health workers arrived in Peru. They will go to cities in the interior of the country severely affected by the coronavirus, the Cuban Foreign Ministry’s website reported.
According to Havana, more than 400,000 Cuban specialists had provided services in 164 nations as of the end of 2019. There are currently some 37,000 health professionals in 67 countries, many of them with cases of COVID-19.
The Henry Reeve international medical contingent was created by the late former President Fidel Castro in 2005 to assist the state of Louisiana (USA) after the devastating passage of Hurricane Katrina, but Washington rejected the aid.
About five years ago, members of the Henry Reeve contingent helped control the Ebola epidemic in Africa, and their work was recognized by the World Health Organization with an award in 2017.
Actualización de mapa infográfico.
— Cancillería de Cuba (@CubaMINREX) June 5, 2020
Medical missions have become a battlefront between Cuba and the United States, which urges countries that request aid from Havana to examine agreements with the island’s government, which they accuse of withholding most of the salary of health personnel while exposing them to “appalling working conditions.”
Cuba, for its part, calls these accusations “lies” and “immoral campaign” and has asked to put aside “pettiness and hostility” in the midst of the pandemic.