In a trip intended to strengthen ties, representatives from the Democratic Republic of the Congo this week expressed an interest in increasing the number of Congolese young people studying and receiving medical training in Cuba.
A group of 850 Congolese students accompanied the Congolese delegation that included the Congolese Ambassador to Cuba who began their trip to Cuba on January 5th and will last until the 13th.
This is the third group of Congolese students to travel to Cuba for medical studies.
According to Director of the Cabinet of the Minister of Health of the Republic of Congo, Nekoosa Jean Philippe, the delegation has been meeting with Cuban authorities over the past few days as a part of an effort to strengthen ties that that would result in further cooperation for the training health professionals.
Currently, about 1,200 Congolese students are studying medicine in Cuba and will return to the central African country to provide much needed medical services to the country.
During their visit, the Congolese officials met with students at the Victoria de Giron Faculty of Basic and Pre-Clinical Sciences, the Preparatory Faculty of Cojimar and the Latin American Medical School, Cuba’s Foreign Ministry said.
According to Nekoosa, 12 hospitals have been built in the Republic of Congo and are staffed by Cuban volunteers. Congolese physicians and specialists who are being trained in Cuba will constitute the main providers of these services in the Congo moving forward, Nekoosa said.
The Republic of the Congo and Cuba have a long history dating back to the 1965 when Fidel Castro sent a small group of Cuban guerillas to the Congo, led by Ernesto “Che” Guevara, to support Marxist leader Laurent-Desire Kabila. When the revolt by Kabila failed, relations between the two countries stalled until Kabila became president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1997. Since then, relations between the two countries drastically improved and have continued to grow.
(Photo courtesy of Cuban Foreign Ministry’s Website)