Cuban medical team heads home

Members of Cuba’s Henry Reeve Brigade, the medical team which responded to Barbados’ call for assistance at the outbreak of COVID-19 here, have returned to Cuba after completing their two-year assignment.

The cohort of 126 medical doctors, nurses and lab technologists flew out of the Grantley Adams International Airport yesterday and were showered with praise and words of appreciation by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley and Minister of Health Ian Gooding-Edghill at a farewell reception hosted at the Worthing Court Hotel, Christ Church, Wednesday night.

The first team of Cuban health specialists arrived in Barbados in April, 2020 to boost Barbados’ complement of public health professionals dealing with COVID-19. At that early stage of the pandemic, then Minister of Health The Most Honourable Lt Colonel Jeffrey Bostic had said the assistance was critical in light of the creation of the Harrison Point facility which had been specially built in St Lucy to accommodate COVID-19 patients, and to take any potential strain off the resources of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Bostic also said having the Cubans here would allow Government to have an increased number of health care workers to place on rotation, to ensure that the isolation and quarantine facilities for COVID-19 were fully staffed at all times.

The exiting Cuban health team was boosted with the arrival of a second Henry Reeve cohort headed by Cuban anesthesiology specialist Dr Alberto Rodríguez Gallardo in February, 2021.

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