Medical brigades travel to Honduras and Qatar to join colleagues there in the COVID-19 battle.
With the arrival of 20 health professionals from the Henry Reeve International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics to Honduras on April 19, the internationalist tradition of our island with the Central American country was reinforced.
In a tweet, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla described the event as "a new gesture of solidarity from Cuba, at a time when a global effort is needed to curb the pandemic.”
This group joins the more than 1,000 collaborators already working in the country.
The first time our personnel set foot on Honduran soil as solidary messengers of Cuban medicine was in 1998, in the wake of Hurricane Mitch. At that time, Cuba's response was not limited to human capital; also arriving were medicine and other supplies needed to care for the population after the natural disaster, which hit several countries in the region.
In mid-2004, when the Cuban and Venezuelan governments launched Mission Miracle to restore the vision of those with few resources, Honduras also benefited from the project, among the many efforts undertaken by the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA).
Thousands of Hondurans came to Cuba to receive eye treatment. In those initial times, Cuba donated three ophthalmology clinics to the Republic of Honduras. This powerful effort allowed 290,051 Honduran patients to regain their sight, over the ten year period.
On this latest occasion, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández thanked Cuba on his Twitter account, adding that also traveling on the flight from the island were 53 Honduran doctors, studying different specialties in our country, recalling that, in 2016, the two governments signed an agreement to continue this collaboration.
Leaving just before the brigade to Honduras were more than 200 members of the Henry Reeve Contingent heading to Qatar. These collaborators joined the 500 already working at the Cuban Hospital in Dukhan, which has become a center for the care of the CIVID-19 patients.
The country requested help from Cuba, citing the positive experience of our professionals there on previous occasions.
With these new departures, there are now more than 20 Cuban medical brigades responding to the call of the World Health Organization to combat, the devastating effects of the new coronavirus on the human species with solidarity.
All of this, of course, reflects the humanist principles on which our revolutionary process is based, despite the media distortions and slanders Cuban internationalism has faced.