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Second Cuba-Belize Medical Symposium held

The Second Cuba-Belize Medical Symposium was held today in commemoration of the 27th anniversary of the Cuba Medical Brigade in Belize. Ambassador of Cuba to Belize, Lissette Perez and Minister of State in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Angel Campos spoke of the longstanding collaboration between both countries.

Lissette Perez , Cuban Ambassador to Belize:“At this moment more than 80 health professionals serve in Belize. Working in conjunction with local medical personnel in the Cuban Medical Brigade has impacted the lives of many people in a positive and tangible manner. The Government of Cuba has also continued to offer scholarship to nationals of Belize in the field of human medicine. There are many opportunities on offer with Cuba’s willingness to continue to extend the relationship with Belize and their CARICOM members.”

Dr.Angel Campos, Minister of State, Ministry of Health: It’s been 27 years since Belize has benefitted from the services of the Cuban Brigades. This has allowed us to expand access to medical services, to our very rural and remote areas- some areas that had never seen a doctor. It has also allowed Belize to increase access to specialized services in our regional and national hospital. The support of allied health personnel has also  allowed us to increase capacity for imaging services and laboratory services- all this while at the same time affording our Belizean students to access medical universities in Cuba and return to enhance our cadre of professionals in this country. We have come a long way and the road ahead will eventually see us become more independent as our own Belizean doctors come back home to provide the much needed services. While this by no means indicates our wish to end this cooperation we certainly look forward to a future of independence and sustainability and I am certain that the cooperation will continue, albeit it in probably a different fashion or modality. In the meantime I want to thank the Government and people of Cuba for their stalwart support and assistance given to the Government and people of Belize.”

The Cuban health work force in Belize includes 24 specialists who labor in areas of orthopedic, internal medicine, psychiatry and pediatrics to name a few. There are also about 25 Cuban nurses working at various public health facilitates across the country. Cuba has also provided scholarships to medical students in Belize. Approximately 64 of these students are presently in Cuba studying. Today’s symposium saw presentations by representatives of the Ministry of Health and civil society.