President Cyril Ramaphosa today welcomed Cuban health professionals who have arrived in the country to support efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.

In total, 217 Cuban health specialists and workers arrived in South Africa.

This followed a request made by the President to President Díaz Canel Bermúdez of Cuba.

The group consists of the following:

· Experts in the fields of epidemiology, biostatistics, and public health;

· Family physicians to guide interventions through door-to-door testing and to assist local health workers in health promotion and disease surveillance at the community level;

· Healthcare technology engineers to assist in maintaining the inventory, deployment and repair of aged medical equipment; and

· Experts to provide technical assistance working with local experts.

Celebrating 25 years of SA-Cuban diplomacy

Last year, South Africa and Cuba celebrated 25 years of cordial.

This is mutually beneficial diplomatic relations and constructive cooperation at both bilateral and multilateral levels.

The SA-Cuba Agreement on Cooperation in the Fields of Public Health and Medical Sciences has registered much success.

Over 732 South Africans, many from previously disadvantaged communities, received their first five years of medical training in Cuba

These citizens have qualified as doctors since the inception of the Nelson Mandela/Fidel Castro medical training programme in 1997.

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