Cuban doctors in Baku for the first time

Cuban doctors in Baku for the first time

More than 11 thousand kilometers away, the Azeri language, and eight hours ahead separate the Republic of Azerbaijan from Cuba. In its capital, Baku, on the shores of the Caspian Sea, the Cuban doctors who are members of the Henry Reeve Medical Contingent are present.

It is the first time that they provide their services in that nation, which maintains friendly and cooperative relations with the largest of the Antilles.

These two weeks have been a difficult time, the Cuban health personnel faced a deadly virus at a time when the country reports a significant number of cases (32,684 confirmed cases, 27,760 recovered patients, and 468 deaths, according to the data updated by the John Hopkins University).

It is up to them to share their epidemiological experiences with the Azeri medical authorities in their eternal humanist mission of saving lives. Dr. Dalsy Torres Avila, specialist in Internal Medicine and intensive care, chief of the medical brigade there, is very emphatic when referring to the reception and the performance of the Cuban doctors.

The medical brigade is made up of 115 health workers. There are doctors from different specialties in order to achieve a multidisciplinary team when dealing with such a complex disease. It is a brigade designed to supply the emergency care of a patient with COVID-19. We work at an emblematic hospital in the country, where the Medical University is located, for which it has been a great challenge for ourselves to integrate. The way we have managed to merge with the team of local colleagues from Azerbaijani and from other countries demonstrates the professionalism and the worth of the group.

There is a logical time for the integration of the flows that have been already established. The brigade did not start work until all the biosecurity measures were followed. The counterpart, assures Dr. Torres Avila, has been very receptive to our suggestions; and we already have the first signs of affection from the patients. There are many people who know about the bonds of friendship that unite Cuba and Azerbaijan. On the street, they come to thank us on the act of coming and joining them in the efforts for life.

Right after arriving in Azerbaijani lands, the brigade works at the intensive care units. We were prepared for it. It is the Red Zone, the highest level of complexity for infected people. We are especially dedicated to the patients in serious condition.

We have had the opportunity to work with professionals of various nationalities: Russians, Turks, Azerbaijanis and the integration is positive.

Dr. Jose Marlon Almaguer, specialist in general medicine, who also has a diploma in Intensive Care is also a member of the brigade. For him the most important thing is the teamwork and the assessment that is carried out among all the specialist regarding the most complicated cases.

Dr. Jose Marlon talks about the honor and the commitment that the Henry Reeve contingent proposal means for the Nobel Peace Prize. For him it is a commitment and a pride to continue saving lives in any corner of the world where is needed.

The youngest member of the brigade is Dr. Misleydis Labrada Cedeno with only 27 years old, who assures that the mission has been a great school for her. Her main concern is the evolution of each patient. Every night she evaluates her daily work and always thinks of Cuba. One more day and an evaluation: what did I do well, what did I do wrong? And, above all, trusting in the colleagues. We are a team, secure and aware of everything.

The 42nd brigade of the Henry Reeve International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics continues to work in Azerbaijan, a nation that maintains friendly relations with Cuba and that recognizes the experience and the professionalism of the Cuban medicine. Cuba understands that solidarity is a significant tool in the fight against humanity's ailments, and broadens its health care; even to nations where their health personnel had never been before, such as Azerbaijan, the largest sovereign country in the Caucasus region, with an area of ​​more than 86 thousand square kilometers and 10 million inhabitants.