Havana, July 8, 2015
“Year 57 of the Revolution”
After having fulfilled the honorable mission which took you to West Africa six months ago, even at the risk of your own lives, to combat the Ebola outbreak which devastated the continent, you returned to the homeland which received you with the utmost pride.
In my name and that of the Cuban people, I convey to you acknowledgement of the heroic work you undertook as part of the “Henry Reeve” International Contingent.
You represent the continuation of the personal altruism and selflessness which has characterized the island’s medical cooperation since it began in 1963, with the sending of the first brigade to Algeria under the leadership of then Minister of Public Health, compañero José Ramón Machado Ventura. Over all these years, 158 countries have been able to count on the solidarity work of 325,710 Cuban collaborators.
Today, our medicine is present in 68 nations with more than 50,000 health professionals, a reality which encapsulates the true values cultivated by the Revolution. The assistance offered by each one of the collaborators of the army of white coats stands as an enduring paradigm.
You have achieved important results in providing medical care to those affected by the Ebola epidemic, with more than 400 lives saved and a average death rate of 24.4%, a demonstration of your level of training, devotion and commitment to your work, aspects which have been recognized by the governments themselves and international organizations.
Accept once again our congratulations and a strong embrace,
Raúl Castro Ruz