Two months have passed since 23 members of the Henry Reeve Medical Brigade —specialized in combating natural disasters and serious epidemics — arrived in Guinea Bissau to join Cuba’s medical mission in that sister nation in Africa and Guinea’s health personnel in the combat against Covid-19.
Thenceforth, the Cuban health professionals have not stopped working in the efforts to save lives and thus prevent further spread of the disease.
This is confirmed by the head of the Henry Reeve Brigade in that country Dr. Lázaro Delgado García, to whom we contacted via WhatsApp. “The first thing we did was to merge with Guinea’s health personnel with the purpose of working according to protocols and how to behave under the standards of Guinea Bissau’s Ministry of Health, aiming at stopping and contributing with the eradication of the pandemic while saving as many lives as possible. From that moment on, we have been working together in three different hospitals, at the central laboratory, the Center for Disease Control, a team of Electromedicine works at the National Reference Center and four specialists in Comprehensive General Medicine are working in the community, in the case-finding activity, and in teams for rapid response to Covid-19,” he said.
It is equally important to Dr. Delgado the systematic relationship with the Cuban medical brigade in that nation as actions are coordinated in order to maintain and improve, even under these circumstances, the teaching process, the training, the clinical work and the counseling in the combat against the pandemic, as well as the improvement of the citizens’ life quality in that sister nation. Thanks to this work strategy and the knowledge acquired in Cuba on the pandemic, encouraging and positive results have been achieved. In the words of the head of the Brigade, up to and including Saturday, after 60 days of work, Cuban health personnel have provided assistance to 5,862 individuals, carried out 16,182 nursing procedures, 1,697 PCRs at the Clinical Laboratory and 2,597 case-finding actions by Comprehensive General Medicine personnel; specialists in electromedicine have fixed 44 equipment essential in the combat against Covid-19 and most importantly, 73 lives have been saved, which cannot be possible without a prompt care to patients.
“We have been warmly welcomed by the people and the authorities here, who has expressed profound admiration and respect for Cuba,” Dr. Delgado points out. When asked about the challenges and top priorities for the future, he highlights: “We will strengthen the coordinated work with the health personnel of Guinea Bissau in order to reduce the number of infected people. We will improve our work by making the most out of updated scientific information on the subject and thus save more people in the Red Zone. We will increase actions to strengthen the epidemiological surveillance in suspected cases and their respective contacts. We plan to reach every individual through case-finding actions in the community, control positive cases and raise awareness about all of these by promoting and carrying out sanitary hearings, giving top priority to high risk groups, making emphasis on the use of available means of protection for members of the Brigade in their daily work, among others.”
Our health personnel in Guinea Bissau is in great shape and ready to keep on safeguarding people’s life, said Dr. Delgado. “We are ready to be here as long as we are needed. We are convinced that the fulfillment of our daily duties is the best we can do for our Homeland as well. We will accomplish our mission to save lives in this sister nation and return home healthy with the high political moral that characterizes this white coat army, which embraces the values of humanism, patriotism, and altruism instilled by the Cuban Revolution.”
Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff