KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Ministry of Health yesterday signed two bilateral partnership agreements with Cuba. The official signing took place at the ministry’s head office in Kingston.
The agreements signed are:
• Technical Cooperation Agreement between the Ministry of Public Health of the Republic of Cuba and the Ministry of Health of Jamaica.
• Agreement on Cooperation between Cuba and Jamaica for the functioning of an Ophthalmology Centre.Health Minister Horace Dalley said thousands of Jamaicans have benefitted from the forty three years of diplomatic relations with Cuba. “Cuba has never refused to help us. Many Jamaicans have benefitted especially from the Jamaica/Cuba Eye care programme,” Dalley said.
Under the Technical Cooperation agreement several Cuban health workers have been coming to Jamaica and making important contribution to the health sector.
There are currently 71 Cuban professionals working in Jamaica, 53 of which are from the Jamaica-Cuba Technical Agreement and 18 of which are under the Eye Care Programme partnership.
Of the 71 Cuban professionals in the island 27 are doctors, 36 are nurses and 8 are professional technologists.
On July 28, 2009 the Bilateral Agreement of Cooperation for the establishment of a Centre of Excellence was signed between the Jamaican and Cuban Governments. Out of that came the Jamaica/Cuba Eye Care Centre which was officially opened in January, 2010.
Since its inception, the Ophthalmology Centre has received in excess of 78,000 visits.
More than 24,000 people have been screened and more than 9,842 procedures done, all in Jamaica.
“There has been a concerted effort by both the Cuban and Jamaican Governments to ensure that our people get the best health care. Our partnership in health with Cuba over the years has been extremely beneficial and we look forward to continuing to work with the Government and people of Cuba in the future,” Dalley said.