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This Wednesday, a brigade of the Henry Reeve International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics left for Honduras, at the request of the government of the Central American country, to attend to the victims of tropical storms Eta and Iota that affected the Northern Triangle of Central America in November.
In the farewell ceremony at the Central Unit of Medical Cooperation (UCCM), Dr. Carlos Alberto León Martínez, on behalf of the group, said that its members are professionals with a deep sense of solidarity and altruism, willing to reach the most remote places on the planet, but always in favor of humanity and life.
The second degree specialist in Psychiatry explained that the brigade is prepared to attend patients with COVID-19, in addition to those who come with communicable and infectious diseases, which due to natural disasters are increasing in the nation.
León Martínez expressed that Honduras is his first experience with the Henry Reeve Contingent, after fulfilling an internationalist mission in Venezuela, for which he affirmed that he feels proud to belong to this army of white coats that defends such genuine values as solidarity, humanism and professional ethics.
Ana Teresita González Fraga, First Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, pointed out that the passage of tropical storms Eta and Iota through Central America aggravated, even more, the situation of these countries under the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, for which Cuba, in accordance with the principle of international cooperation that characterizes its foreign policy, helps this sister nation that needs it, she said.
He affirmed that the work developed by the Henry Reeve Contingent, in its 15 years of creation, constitutes an example for the world, and even more so when the blockade imposed by the United States to the Island is intensified and the smear campaigns against Cuban medical collaboration are intensified.
A new Henry Reeve Cuban medical brigade contingent arrived today in Tegucigalpa, Honduras to work in a field hospital in support disaster recovery efforts and those affected by hurricanes Eta and Iota.
The brigade is made up of 25 collaborators from 12 provinces, among them 11 doctors, five graduates in nursing, five specialists in hygiene and epidemiology, an administrative director and three service workers; while most of these health professionals have more than 10 years of work experience and have previously carried out internationalist missions.
At the farewell ceremony were doctors Santiago Badía González, general secretary of the Health Workers Union; Regla Angulo Pardo, vice-minister of Public Health and Jorge Delgado Bustillo, director of the UCCM.
According to foreign media, Hurricanes Eta and Iota caused around 3.4 million people to be affected in Tegucigalpa alone, including 91 deaths, 189,604 people evacuated and 128,127 left unhoused.
In addition to these figures, some 20 schools, 51 buildings, 84 bridges and 218 roads were damaged in the country.
Seventy-one communities were also cut off from the electrical grid and 166 landslides, 14 mudslides, 113 floods and 170 floods were recorded.
Previously, to combat the effects of the pandemic, a brigade of 20 health professionals worked in the Central American nation, from April to September of this year, where, with their Honduran colleagues, they investigated around 13,500 homes in the northern department of Cortés, and carried out 72,900 nursing procedures in two intensive care units in the city of San Pedro Sula.
For their work, the National Congress recognized the medical group with the honorary order Cruz de Comendador.
Cuba began its medical collaboration with Honduras in 1998, when Commander in Chief Fidel Castro created the Integral Health Program after Hurricane Mitch hit Central America, considered the worst natural disaster to hit that region in 200 years.
By 2019, 2,192 doctors had provided more than 29 million medical services and 800,000 major surgeries, in addition to assisting in the birth of 180,000 children and saving around a quarter of a million people.