The Deputy Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Kwesi Quartey, has urged the African continent to replicate Cuba’s “impressive example” in the medical education sector.
The AU Commission Deputy Chairperson made the remarks during his meeting with a Cuban delegation at the headquarters of the AU in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, as the two sides discussed ways of deepening partnership in postgraduate medical education in Africa, the 55-member pan African bloc disclosed on late Friday.
Quartey “hailed the achievements of Cuba in healthcare, particularly, in maternal and infant mortality and expressed the hope that with increased science education, Africa could replicate this impressive example of Cuba medical education on a continent-wide basis,” an AU statement read.
Noting the AU’s 50-year continental development Agenda 2063 that, among other things, envisaged “an Africa, whose development is people-driven, relying on the potential of African people, especially its women and youth, and caring for children,” Quartey also stressed that “a healthy citizenry is the greatest asset for the sustainable development that the continent is in dire need.”
The deputy chairperson further expressed optimism that “with technical assistance from Cuba, combined efforts of partners, a postgraduate medical education would bring quality and affordable healthcare to all the African people.”
“This is an opportunity for the member states to experience in practical terms, the direct relevance of the AU in their daily lives, as the Commission is poised to create an Africa Union of the African people,” Quartey said.
The continental bloc and the government of Cuba are currently in talks to start postgraduate medical education in Africa, in which the ongoing discussions mainly aimed to identify current and future areas of need for specialist medical personnel within Africa, as well as to develop a concept note on the depth and breadth of collaboration and to produce an action plan to guide the process, according to the AU.
Angel Villa, Ambassador of Cuba to the AU, who noted that more than 9,000 African students are in Cuba receiving training in various fields of medicine, also reiterated during the consultative meeting the Cuban government’s “total commitment” to partnerships with the AU in the medical education sector.
“Cuba is ever willing to share its technical knowledge for the success of the project,” an AU statement quoted Villa as saying.
The postgraduate medical education, which is said to cover fields such as nurses, physicians, surgeons, and pharmacists, will be undertaken by tripartite cooperation between the Government of Cuba, The AU Commission, and other partners.
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