500 Pakistanis to go to Cuba for medical course

Campaign News | Tuesday, 29 August 2006

Eventaully 1,000 scholarships will be awarded

ISLAMABAD ? The first batch of 500 Pakistani students will leave for Cuba this year to start their medical education under the scholarships announced by Cuba, Cuban Ambassador to Pakistan Gustavo Machin Gomez has said.

Havana announced the scholarships when its medical teams worked in the earthquake-affected areas in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and North West Frontier Province.

He said that modalities are being finalised with the Pakistani government through Higher Education Commission, Ministry of Health and Education to select the students. The ambassador said 1,000 scholarships were announced by Cuba for the Pakistani students.

The Higher Education Commission has announced programme for these scholarships for Pakistani students by the Cuban government for graduate studies in general comprehensive medicine (equivalent to MBBS), in leading Cuban medical institutions.

The Cuban ambassador, who is the first to Islamabad after up-gradation and reopening of its embassy, said the two countries have long standing diplomatic ties that will be taken to a higher level.

He said with the exchange of delegations particularly the scholarships for the students would further promote relations between the two countries.

A committee headed by HEC Chairman Prof Dr Atta-ur-Rahman has been formed, which includes representatives of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health to finalise the students for Cuba. The scholarship programme include regular graduate programmes in general comprehensive medicine for a period of five years.

The Cuban ambassador said Pakistan and Cuba have a vast scope of improving their bilateral, trade, economic and cultural relations and were heading in that direction.


1,593 medical graduates from 26 countries

BY MARIANELA MARTIN GONZALEZ- Granma daily staff writer-

IF a system for training doctors en masse like the one implemented by the Cubans is not adopted, the future of the peoples is uncertain, because between epidemics and social marginalization the health of the poor of the planet is constantly threatened.

So said Cuban Health Minister José Ramón Balaguer at the central graduation event for students in Medical Science yesterday afternoon at the Victoria de Girón Institute of Basic and Pre-Clinical Science.

As of yesterday, Cuba has 2,314 new health professionals and 1,593 students from 26 countries also received their medical diplomas.

It was in this same venue, inaugurated by Fidel 44 years ago, that the mass training of doctors began after many of those existing on the island emigrated to the United States as a result of campaigns against the Revolution, he recalled.

“Cuba now has 71,000 doctors,” he noted. “Thanks to their responsibility and human sensibility we have achieved a giant army that is giving solidarity within and without the island, not only raising the quality of life of their patients but other values that are also promoters of health.”

“Our country is lending medical assistance in 68 nations and has offered aid in a hundred countries,” noted Balaguer, who recalled the interest in establishing 11 faculties similar to that of the Latin America School of Medicine (ELAM) in various Third World countries, above all in Africa.

Brazilian doctor Alexander Sales, the best all-round ELAM graduate, affirmed that the principles forged in the six years of study will be applied in their countries of origin and wherever they are needed.

Reading out the oath of the graduates, Julio Arma, a general doctor, emphasized maintaining the ethics of the profession in any part of the world and serving the most unprotected peoples of the planet.

This central event, dedicated to President Fidel Castro’s 80th birthday and the 50th anniversary of the Granma Landing, was attended by José Ramón Machado Ventura, Pedro Ross Leal and Concepción Campa, members of the Political Bureau.


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