Threats from Brazil’s far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro have prompted Cuba to withdraw nearly 10,000 doctors serving in the Mais Médicos (More Doctors) program that brought health care to some 60 million poor and indigenous Brazilians in the 2013-2015 first phase alone.
The same man who says he will abolish protected indigenous lands, mainly in the Amazon territory he wants to further open to mining companies, now not only threatens a centuries-old way of life and the entire world’s environment, but also the health care of some 45 million for whom the Cuban physicians were primarily responsible.
The Mais Médicos program, begun in 2013 during the Dilma Rousseff presidency, involved 18,000 doctors from Brazil, Cuba and other countries phase one through 2015, thanks to a tripartite accord with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). In fact, the South-South cooperation has been described by PAHO’s Cristian Morales as the“largest project that PAHO has been involved in during the last few years, perhaps in its entire history.” Of this phase’s doctors, 11,500 were Cuban.
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