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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Further 174 Cuban health professionals leave for Ecuador

By José A. de la Osa
Granma International
Wednesday, Sep 23, 2009

Disability investigation extended to all of Ecuador

THE brigade of 62 Cuban specialists who initiated a study of people with disabilities in Cotopaxi, Ecuador, this past July is to increase to 236 with today’s departure of a further 174 heath professionals, with the goal of extending this investigation to cover the entire country.

Dr. José Ramón Balaguer, minister of public health and a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party, presented the internationalists with the Cuban flag last night in an event at the Integral Preparation Center of Cuban Medical Cooperation Department in the capital. Two other brigades, which are to complete missions in Venezuela (64) and Gabon (10) in Africa were also present.

The research underway in Ecuador is aimed at actively searching for patients with auditory, visual, mental, intellectual, and physical-motor disabilities, as well as persons suffering from chronic renal insufficiency on requiring dialysis. Specialists of diverse disciplines likewise intend to expand their knowledge of the causes of these disorders and make a diagnosis of the principal needs of that population.

The multidisciplinary groups include professionals in genetic assessment and psycho-pedagogy, clinical geneticists, plus neuropediatricians, neurophysiologists, psychologists, and otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat.

In the pilot project run in Cotopaxi, located in the central-northern part of the country and with a population of more than 400,000 inhabitants, 11,136 people were diagnosed with distinct types of disabilities.

After listening to various speeches by the Cuban internationalists, in which they confirmed their fidelity to the ethical and human principles of our Revolution, Balaguer emphasized that actions in the health sector not only have medical value but also strengthen the integration of our people, by generating genuine sentiments of solidarity and fraternity.

Deputy Health Minister Marcia Cobas confirmed the completion of a study of Caché province, with a population of 152,000 inhabitants, and located on the Ecuadorian border with Colombia, where Cuban physicians studied 4,200-plus disability cases and visited more than 19,000 homes.

Studies in Esmeraldas, located in the northeastern part of the country, a province with 400,000-plus inhabitants, began on September 6, and the members of this reinforcement brigade are to join this next stage of the project.

Translated by Granma International

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