The delegation include the Gambian minister of Health, Dr Ahmadou L. Samateh, who was accompanied by the head of the Cuban mission, Dr. Juan Francisco Oquendo Montes, as assessor, Dr Fatoumata Dibba, assistant director of Medical Services and Mrs. Rose, representative in The Gambia at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The rational of the visit was to seek solutions and help Kuntaur with a health centre that satisfies the health needs of its population with quality and excellence. Each location was visited, and the structure, construction situation, and lack of personnel, materials and equipment were analysed.
The team exchanged criterium, suggestions and possible solutions with the staff, patients and companions.
Minister Samateh unveiled plans to bring Cuban personnel to reinforce medical care, which according to team was so needed by the native town and the country.
Cubans are still very necessary for the Gambian people, and they show it every day by saving many lives and alleviating suffering.
“When we went through one of the wards, we found a boy of approximately 8 years old who suffered from intense pain, they were waiting for an intravenous cannula to arrive, trocar as it is commonly called because at that time they did not have it in the centre,” according to the Mission.
“Dr. Oquendo, head of the Cuban medical mission, a second-degree specialist in anesthesiology, who doubles as a member of the national group and president of the provincial group of Anesthesiology of Havana, Cuba, did not think twice. He asked the minister for authorisation to pipe the line with the few resources that were there.”
“He went to the infirmary and with what was within his reach; he canalized the vein and placed the serum applying the medicine to the little boy. This is how Cubans behave; the blockade that the northern government has imposed on them for more than 62 years has made them brave, determined and creative.”
“The important thing was to alleviate the pain of that child and that father who contemplated him with sadness. When leaving the room, the suffering of our patient had already begun to subside, and the expression on the father’s face had changed from sadness and pain to deep gratitude.”
“The Gambia needs us,” commented Dr. Oquendo. “Our debt to Africa is eternal and we will be here whenever they ask us to be, that is how our Commander Fidel wanted it and that is how we, his faithful followers, will do it.”
“It was a trip that was worthwhile despite the hot weather and intense heat.”
“Minister Samateh is devoting his best efforts and all his precious time to providing a decent health service to his population, and the UNFPA, in the voice of its representative Mrs. Rose, reaffirmed its willingness to collaborate with everything that is necessary and within its reach.”
“We, the Cubans, call this, “Gather and Win”. Together we will achieve it and we will one day have a healthy Africa and a fairer world for all.”