LOOK: KZN Premier welcomes Cuban medical delegation

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published May 21, 2020

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Durban - KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala yesterday officially welcomed 28 medical experts from the Cuban health brigade who will join hospital staff in the province as the war against Covid-19 in SA rages on. He noted that relations between SA and Cuba were historic and enduring. 

"As we know, SA-Cuba bilateral relations are structured through the Joint Consultative Mechanism (JCM), which meets annually in our respective Capitals.

Our bilateral cooperation dates back to 1996 and our formal diplomatic relations to the dawn of democracy in 1994. 

Our countries take immense pride in the Nelson Mandela Fidel Castro (NMFC) medical collaboration programme," he said. 

Zikalala expressed his gratitude to the brigade. 

Members of the Cuban medical brigade with KZN Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane Zulu

Picture: KZN GCIS

"We can only express our sincere gratitude for choosing to join our people in this fight against a virus that seeks to undermine all the gains we have achieved together over many decades," he said. 

He called upon the people of KZN to work alongside the Cuban medical team. 

Picture: KZN GCIS

On Monday, 28 Cuban medical specialists arrived in KZN ready to work alongside doctors and nurses in KZN. 

Cuban dr, Hernan Zaldivar, said it was an honour to be a part of the team.

"The warm welcome that we were given was spectacular. We will work harder. We are providing medical care for everyone," he said. 

Dr Hernan Zaldivar


Picture: KZN GCIS

The medical brigade, made up of 217 experts in the fields of epidemiology, biostatistics, and public health; family physicians to guide interventions through door-to-door testing and to assist local health workers in health promotion and disease surveillance at the community level; healthcare technology engineers to assist in maintaining the inventory, deployment and repair of aged medical equipment; and experts to provide technical assistance working with local experts, arrived in South Africa last month and have spent 14 days in quarantine before they were deployed. 


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