KOMPAS.com – When many countries are experiencing difficulties due to a shortage of medical personnel to deal with the Covid-19 outbreak, Because precisely capable of sending doctor to various parts of the world.
Reported Reuters, Monday (14/9/2020), nearly 40 countries on five continents have received Cuban medical personnel during the pandemic. It is because they have exceeded their weight in medical diplomacy.
The Caribbean island has scarce resources, namely a surplus of trained doctors to deploy overseas and fight infectious diseases.
Cuba is willing to send its doctors all over the world, to countries that ask for help.
“While the scientific and medical circles are groping in the dark, Cuban medicine, which is strong from past experience, provides the right answer,” said Charles Azilan, head of cooperation at the Togolese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Highest ratio of doctors per capita
Cuba has been distributing its doctors for a long time, that is, since the left-wing revolution in 1959. They send “white coat soldiers” to disaster sites and disease outbreaks around the world in the name of solidarity.
In the last decade, they have been battling cholera in Haiti and Ebola in West Africa.
Cuba had one of the highest ratio of doctors per capita in the world, even before the Covid-19 pandemic began.
There are approximately 28,000 medical personnel deployed globally. Since then they have shipped 4,000 more.
However, that does not mean that the brigade is purely altruistic (looking for others without paying attention to yourself).
Cuba has been exporting doctors on more routine missions in exchange for cash or goods in recent decades. It becomes their source of income.
Some countries have received free medical personnel during the pandemic, others have paid.
Yet they have made little profit for Cuba’s economy, which is struggling with falling tourism.
Some countries that have received Cuban assistance such as Togo, Andorra, Jamaica, and Italy.
Togo initially battled the pandemic with only 12 doctors until help from Cuba arrived. Meanwhile, Jamaica, for example, welcomed 137 Cuban doctors in March, in addition to the 296 doctors already practicing there.
“Without them it would have been much more difficult for us,” said Jamaica’s head nurse, Patricia Ingram-Martin.
Meanwhile, the US is trying to overthrow Cuba. US President Donald Trump some time ago said Cuba had exploited its doctors.
Trump has slammed Havana, Cuba’s capital, for usually withholding 75 percent or more of what host countries pay for its doctors. Trump likened that to human trafficking.
Human Rights Watch also criticized so-called repressive working conditions, including Cuban doctors who were barred from returning home for eight years if they defected.
Cuban doctors told Reuters that although they wanted better conditions, the mission allowed them to earn much more than the monthly salary in their home country (Cuba).
It is said that they only get a monthly salary in Cuba of 70-100 US dollars or less than Rp 1.5 million per month.
Controlling the pandemic
On the other hand, Cuba is also considered capable of controlling the corona virus pandemic in their country amid all their economic limitations.
Cuba has reported 4,726 cases and 108 deaths so far. That’s one-tenth of the global per capita average.
With a total population of around 11 million, Cuba is considered better, for example than Bolivia or Belgium which have almost the same population ratio.
To date, Belgium has recorded 94,306 cases of infection and 9,927 deaths due to Covid-19.
Meanwhile Bolivia reported 127,619 cases of infection and 7,394 deaths.