Mbabane: The Kingdom of Eswatini and the republic of Cuba today celebrated 15 years of medical collaboration.
The anniversary celebration was held at the Eswatini Revenue Authority Headquarters at Ezulwini and was attended by the Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini, Cabinet Ministers, as well as Cuban dignitaries.
Cuba’s collaboration with Eswatini in health, began in 2005, with the arrival of the first 20 doctors from Cuba to Eswatini after the signing of the first Medical Cooperation Agreement.
For the first time, since then, Eswatini had a neonatologist, as well as an oncologist, pediatricians, general practitioners, a surgeon, a gynecologist and comprehensive general practitioners.
Speaking during the anniversary, Eswatini Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini said, the establishment of the bilateral relationship between Eswatini and Cuba has strengthened local health systems.
The premier said with this, the country remains grateful to His Majesty King Mswati III who continues to strengthen our relationships with the wider world and positioning Eswatini as an important role player in the promotion of global unity and prosperity.
The remarkable diplomatic relationship Eswatini have with Cuba has also seen Cuba providing the Cuban Medical Brigade to the Kingdom which has contributed immensely to the improvement of public health services among Emaswati living especially in the rural areas.
The premier said it was more gratifying to note the amount of support that Cuba continues to give to Eswatini through availing trained medical professionals in the fields of anaesthesiology, oncology, paediatrics, orthopaedic surgeons, radiology and even general doctors, amongst others.
According to information sourced from the website of Cuba’s Representative Office Abroad, Cuba has admitted a number of Emaswati citizens to undergo medical training in Cuba, which has greatly bolstered our skills pool as a country.” Thus, at present, 18 Swazi students are studying in Cuba in different specialties, while another 25 have already graduated on the island.
The relationship between Cuba and Eswatini started way back in 1995 and this year it is 25 years. With the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1995, the two states began working together, interested in diversifying and expanding bilateral cooperation, which gave birth to the medial cooperation agreement which was signed in 2005.
As a result of this Agreement, since 2005, a Cuban Medical Brigade integrated by 20 collaborators began to provide services in Eswatini and it is maintained until now, with wide recognition from the population and local authorities.
On August 19, at the request of the Eswatini government, 19 more doctors, among them specialists in General Integrated Medicine, epidemiology, microbiology and intensivists, arrived in the nation to support the national efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
The collaboration has also been carried out in the training of professionals, given that until last year, 22 professionals of Eswatini have graduated from Cuban universities and there are currently 18 students in different specialties.