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In celebration and homage for Latin American Medicine Day, teleSUR English reproduces in full a heartfelt message from Cuban Public Health Minister Jose Angel Portal Miranda to Cuba's valiant and selfless health workers.
Dear health workers:
It was in the second half of the 19th century when Dr. Carlos Juan Finlay Barrés, considered the greatest Cuban scientist of all times, unveiled to the world the mystery of the agent that transmits yellow fever, a disease that at that time claimed thousands of lives in different parts of the world.
Finlay was born in Camagüey in 1833. His diligence, perseverance, and dedication allowed him to make such a discovery and raise disease transmission theory by biological agents.
The eminent physician devoted his entire life to solving the significant problems of our country's epidemiological picture in his time. In homage to him and commemoration of his birth, we celebrate every December 3, the Day of Latin American Medicine and the Health Worker.
Finlay's work is also transcendent because of his contribution to understanding the behavior of epidemics, which have plagued humanity for years. He was a clear example of perseverance and dedication to the medical profession and how science, put in the function of health, produces significant advances in protecting what is most precious to human beings: life.
In this 2020, Cuban health workers and students, faithful heirs to Finlay's legacy and consistent with the development achieved by Cuban public health after the revolutionary triumph—labor for which our Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz was the driving force and main architect—have tirelessly devoted themselves to the fight against a new epidemic, both inside and outside the country.
Full of professionalism, altruism, and solidarity, they have not ceased in their efforts to win, together with our people, the battle against COVID-19.
Every minute has counted, every recovered patient who returns home means multiplied joy; every loss has become shared pain and learning; every diagnosis made, which prevents the transmission of the disease to other people, has represented one more step on the road.
En el Día de la Medicina Latinoamericana llegue la felicitación a todos los trabajadores de la salud pública cubana y el agradecimiento por la labor que realizan, en especial en el enfrentamiento a la #COVID19https://t.co/XGTGXucf06
"On the Day of Latin American Medicine, congratulations to all Cuban public health workers and thanks for their work, especially in the fight against COVID-19."
There is not a single member of our army of white coats who has not grown up, at a time when the country has also had to grow up, in the face of a brutal blockade that has been tightened even during this international health crisis.
For you, our recognition and the gratitude of all our people, together with a hug from those who have received, in other latitudes, the care of Cuban medicine.
On this historic date, our congratulations go out to all of you—both to those who are in the first trenches of combat in the country and to the thousands of collaborators who honorably offer their services in other parts of the world—on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Ministry of Public Health and the National Secretariat of the Health Workers' Union.
In a country that has bet since the very revolutionary triumph on universal, free, accessible and quality health care for its people and for many other peoples who need it, and with the conviction that, as Raúl said: "... yes, we could, yes, we can, yes we will overcome any obstacle, threat or turbulence in our firm commitment to build socialism in Cuba, or what is the same, to guarantee the independence and sovereignty of the homeland! "We will continue to count on you for the great challenges ahead, confident that with your dedication and commitment, we will be able to achieve higher goals in the health indicators of the Cuban population.
We will continue to be united in this struggle for life.