Although Cuba’s solidarity dates back to 1960, when a medical brigade went to Chile to help the victims of an earthquake in the southern city of Valdivia, it was not until 1963 that Havana sent professionals on a permanent basis.
In this regard, the first medical mission went to Algeria on May 23, 1963.
According to a post on the website of the Cuban Foreign Ministry, since the triumph of the Revolution on January 1, 1959, Cuba has maintained its cooperation with nations from all five continents.
Despite the adversities and campaigns against the health workers, the Caribbean island’s contribution is maintained and developed, supported by a system of institutions, regulations, principles and values, states the report entitled ‘Cuba, 58 Years Saving Lives along the World.’
According to statistics from the Ministry of Public Health published in February 2021, in almost six decades, 420,000 Cuban professionals have worked in 150 countries, performed more than 14,500,000 surgeries, delivered 4,470,000 children and saved 8,700,000 lives.
That month, around 30,407 Cuban health workers were providing assistance in 66 nations, distributed in permanent medical brigades and others from the Henry Reeve International Contingent of Physicians Specialized in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics.
So far, Cuba has sent some 57 Henry Reeve brigades to contribute to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in 40 States and territories.
Regarding this, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel wrote on his Twitter account: ‘Where others have taken soldiers, bombs, destruction and death, our medical brigades bring support, care, medicines, health.’