Health ministry, Governors sign MoU on Cuban doctors

The Health ministry has signed an MoU with the Council of Governors on the hiring of Cuban doctors.

At the ceremony on Monday, Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki noted that specialised services are important for Kenyans.

"We are ready to support this initiative by Governors," she said after signing the agreement alongside CoG vice chair Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga).

Waiguru said the process that surrounded the deal was "very consultative and inclusive" and that counties will receive the specialists they need most.

"The journey towards universal healthcare is a long term undertaking that requires regular consultation and coordination between the two levels of government and all actors," she noted.

The national government and counties will share the costs of having the 100 Cuban doctors who will arrive later this month.

A memorandum signed by Kenya and Cuba shows each county will get at least two.

The doctors will work hand-in-hand with their Kenyan counterparts to roll out a range of medical services that are expected to radically change how a large number of life-threatening diseases are managed.

Universal healthcare is one of four pillars that President Uhuru Kenyatta has prioritised in his second term. The others are food security, manufacturing and affordable housing.

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Kenya: First Batch of Cuban Doctors to Arrive July

The first batch of Cuban doctors is expected in the country in July to help tackle the malaria pandemic, the Ministry of Health said on Wednesday, brushing aside rising opposition from local medics.

Waqo Ejersa, the Head National Malaria Control Programme at the Ministry of Health (MoH), said Kenya is expecting 10 vector control experts and an additional 100 doctors from the communist state, following agreements signed during President Uhuru Kenyatta's recent visit to the island nation.

Dr Ejersa said the Cuban experts will oversee the spraying of stagnant water bodies in eight counties around Lake Victoria where malaria prevalence is high.

The preventive method, scientifically known as larviciding, involves killing of mosquitoe larvae.

"The spraying to be carried out by the special team from Cuba will involve application of bio larvicides to the breeding sites. The biological products used will interfere with growth of mosquitoes from the larvae stage. The first phase of the programme will last two years and we have reserved Sh500 million for the project," said Dr Ejersa during a malaria briefing in Nairobi.

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Mexican Doctors Rally Against Privatization, Oaxaca Repression

Hundreds of thousands of doctors are also joining the national strike called by the CNTE teachers union.

Hundreds of thousands of Mexican doctors went on strike in over 70 cities on Wednesday to protest neoliberal health reform and to support the heavily-repressed mobilizations of teachers and their supporters against education reform in Mexico’s southern, largely Indigenous states.

ANALYSIS: Neoliberal Teaching Reform Irrelevant to Mexico Needs

Strikers wore red and black ribbons to represent the violence they face as the consequence of crimes like kidnappings, enforced disappearances and killings that have gone unpunished by authorities. Doctors also criticized the lack of infrastructure in hospitals needed for access to healthcare.

Social media was flooded with accusations of deaths due to unattended hospitals and of sexual abuse by doctors, but activists warned of fake accounts and Twitter bots.

They also expressed solidarity with the teachers of the CNTE union, whose protests on Sunday were faced with severe police repression and ended in up to 12 dead. The doctors are joining the ongoing national general strike by teachers, including in the southern states of Oaxaca and Guerrero, where the teachers’ protests have been especially strong. Both are denouncing impunity and the refusal of the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto, who has been leading the reforms, to meet with the strikers without preconditions.

The group #YoSoyMedico17, which is comprised of doctors, pediatricians, surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses, has been joined by more than 200,000 physicians from 32 states in opposing the so-called Universal Health System reform by Peña Nieto. The medical professionals say the measure is a "disguised way of privatizing health in Mexico," and said doctors were not consulted on the reform, according to Animal Politico.

President Peña Nieto has introduced a number of radical measures, including 11 neoliberal structural reforms in education, health and the energy sector, during his first 20 months.

Tens of thousands of teachers have been protesting since May, demanding a meeting with Peña Nieto and his ministers to discuss the education reform. However Peña Nieto and his education minister, Aurelio Nuño, have refused to talk with the union leaders.

This Tuesday, the government announced that Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong would meet with union representatives.

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200,000 Doctors to Join Teachers in Mexico National Strike

Doctors' leaders have condemned the killing of at least eight people during a teacher’s protest last Sunday in the state of Oaxaca.

As protests led by the militant CNTE teachers' union in Mexico continue, the country's doctors are set to join in the job action, calling for a national strike on June 22 to protest a neoliberal reform to the health system imposed by President Enrique Peña Nieto.

ANALYSIS: Neoliberal Teaching Reform Irrelevant to Mexico Needs

The group #YoSoyMedico17, which is comprised of doctors, pediatricians, surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses, has been joined by more than 200,000 physicians from 32 states in opposing the so-called Universal Health System reform by Peña Nieto. The medical professionals say the measure is a "disguised way of privatizing health in Mexico," and said doctors were not consulted on the reform, according to Animal Politico.

The doctors' protest will join the ongoing national general strike by teachers.

Doctor’s also condemned the killing of at least eight people during a teachers' protest last Sunday in the state of Oaxaca, and denounced what they call intimidation and repression by authorities, as well as organized crime.

According to doctors, as violence has increased in Mexico they have suffered the consequences of crimes like kidnappings, enforced disappearances and killings that have gone unpunished by authorities.

RELATED: Death Toll Rises in Oaxaca As Govt Represses Teacher Protests

President Peña Nieto has introduced a number of radical measures, including 11 neoliberal structural reforms in education, health and the energy sector, during his first 20 months.

Tens of thousands of teachers have been protesting since May, demanding a meetings with Peña Nieto and his ministers to discuss the education reform. However Peña Nito and his education minister, Aurelio Nuño, have refused to talk with the union leaders.

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Cuban Doctors will Depart for Nepal to Aid Quake Victims

 

Brigade number 41 of the International Contingent against disasters and large outbreaks Henry Reeve leaves for Nepal at dawn this Friday with the mission of saving lives and palliate the existent situation in the Asian country after the intense earthquake of last April 25.

The group of Cuban medical staff was given the flag at an official farewell event, presided by Dr. Roberto Morales, Secretary of Public Health, the Assistants of MINREX and MINSAP, Ana Teresita González and Dr. Marcia Cobas Ruiz. Also the Dr. Regla Angulo, head of the Central Unit of Medical Cooperation, among other officials of the Public Health.

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The brigade, comprising 49 professionals from different specialties (among them 22 specialist doctors), will face existent illnesses and others that soar and outbreak as the normal process after a natural disaster of this magnitude - affirmed the head of the brigade, Luis Oliveros Serrano.

Oliveros repeated the elevated commitment of medical professionals "many of us have experience on this sort of work, other meet this scenario for the first time, but the brigade is very happy and committed with the mission we will fulfill."

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Dr. Marcia Cobas Ruiz informed the Cuban cooperators on Nepal's current situation, where a first group from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba is studying the working field and creating the necessary conditions so that physicians can fulfill their objectives and expectations of the people from Nepal.

In this regard he commented of the trust placed by the government of Katmandu in the Cuban doctors and the plans for locating the campaign hospital that will be moved to the areas affected by the quake.

This medical center will include services of a surgical unit, sterilization, intensive care unit, possibility of diagnostic (including x-rays , semiautomatic lab and ultrasound lab), as well as consult and rehabilitation areas.

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U.S. Academic Asks Washington to Listen to Global Opinion on Cuba

Washington, December 2 (RHC) -- The professor emeritus of international relations at the State University of New York (SUNY), Eloise Linger, said that it is time for the United States to take the courageous and humanitarian step of normalizing relations with Cuba.

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