Cuba and Zimbabwe Forge Ahead to Bolster Health Relations

In a recent high-level meeting, Cuba and Zimbabwe announced their intention to enhance and broaden health relations. The meeting, involving Cuban Health Minister José Ángel Portal and Zimbabwean Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, discussed prospects of expanding medical collaboration in Zimbabwe. They also discussed furthering the training of human resources, and fostering the transfer of biopharmaceutical technology between the two nations.

A History of Medical Cooperation

The medical cooperation between Cuba and Zimbabwe is not a new phenomenon; it dates back to 1977. At present, 17 Cuban health collaborators are serving in Zimbabwe, 11 of whom are physicians. Zimbabwe has benefited from this partnership, with 55 health professionals having received their training in Cuba. Additionally, six individuals from Zimbabwe are currently undertaking pre-graduate studies in medicine in Cuba. This strengthening of the partnership symbolizes the commitment of both nations to advance their healthcare sectors through mutual sharing of expertise, resources, and technology.

Future Prospects for Health Cooperation

With the continued strengthening of this collaboration, the future looks promising for health relations between the two countries. This collaboration is expected to expand into the pharmaceutical sector, with Zimbabwe expressing interest in producing both veterinary and human vaccines, as well as medicines in partnership with Cuba. The Caribbean nation has demonstrated its readiness to revive plans to establish a vaccine manufacturing plant in Zimbabwe, a plan that was previously delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The plant is also part of efforts to improve the country’s health delivery capacity.

Cuba’s Support for Zimbabwe’s Medical Capacity

Cuba has already taken active steps to bolster Zimbabwe’s healthcare system. The country has deployed 14 medical brigades, consisting of 15 medical experts, across Zimbabwe. Additionally, Cuba has sent academics and specialists to train doctors in Zimbabwe, a move that will enhance the country’s long-term medical capacity.

The G77 China Summit: A Platform for Enhanced Cooperation

The upcoming G77 China summit in Havana, which Zimbabwe will attend, offers a platform for the country to enhance coordination among developing nations. This summit could further serve as a catalyst to strengthen the proposed economic and health cooperation between Zimbabwe and Cuba. The planned cooperation is a significant stride in deepening ties between the two nations and improving Zimbabwe’s healthcare sector.

The strengthening of health relations between Cuba and Zimbabwe presents numerous opportunities for the advancement of the healthcare sector in both nations. This partnership, based on mutual respect and a shared commitment to improving healthcare, is a model of cooperative relations that other nations can learn from. Finally, as the world continues to grapple with the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, such collaborations are crucial for enhancing global health security.