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Post By @CubanWindow

Summary From the Original Taking healthcare to rural areas / Offering healthcare services in the country’s remote mountainous regions is a learning experience vital to the professional development of young Cuban doctors. After graduating they work for one year in offices in rural zones across the nation as part of their social service commitment

Their efforts have contributed to reducing infant and maternal mortality rates; raising average life expectancy, and reducing numbers of deaths due to chronic non-infectious diseases.

Dr. Gisel Acosta Fonseca worked in the community of San Lorenzo, located in the Sierra Maestra mountains, some 18 kilometers from the municipality of Bartolomé Masó in the western province of Granma.

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” Community-based social organizations support us in our efforts to implement a wide range of protocols. These include the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CRDs), The Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), and the National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP). At the same time we attend a primary and secondary school, as well as a boarding and semi-boarding institution, where we provide information on different issues, to teach children and young people correct food and hygiene habits to guarantee their health ”

Dr. Luis Rogelio Proenza Reyes had a similar experience while working in Montero, a town near the municipality of Niquero, also in Granma province. A largely sugar producing region, residents are known to be friendly but reserved.

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“I lived at the office, in rooms next to the consultation area. The most common ailments I saw were intestinal parasites, respiratory infections, and allergies. We also had patients suffering from chronic non-infectious conditions such as, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.”

Dr. Reymi Castillo González worked in the community of Guamo Viejo, in the municipality of Río Cauto, Granma province, with campesinos who dedicated their time either to growing rice or shrimp fishing. This was the first time she had visited the area, although she was born and lived only a few kilometers away.

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The young doctor explained that she was warmly received by residents, and built and maintained friendships with some of her patients. “I had to address population aging because I was met with a group of people over 60 years of age. I believe that these residents were very concerned about healthcare at a social level; and wanted to know about good hygiene habits.”

Yordán Reinier Merladet Montero was stationed in a remote, mountainous area known as La Habanica, home to over 1,000 inhabitants. There, among the region’s lush vegetation, campesinos grow coffee, taro, and tubers. The town has electricity and telephone lines; and a well equipped office which included oxygen tanks, suture materials, and medicines to treat emergency cases, according to Dr. Merladet Montero. In addition to the consultation area, the facility was also fitted with a bathroom, kitchen, and two extra rooms, as well as household appliances and a radio station.

According to the health professional on the day of his arrival, at about 11pm, he received a patient with an injured leg.

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“He was riding his horse when a big rock fell on him. It had cut his toe and his other foot was in pretty bad shape. That day there was no electricity, I had to use a lantern to do the stitches. The most difficult thing was finding the necessary materials to dress the wound. I don’t know how I did it, but I was able to treat the patient.”

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