Only yesterday I became aware of the fact that there are students from Solomon Island studying Medicine in Cuba. Just looking at the following citation from 2008, I was so heartily suprised and thankful to the Govt of Cuba for sending doctors to ten different island states in the Pacific and also educating doctors from Nauru, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Tuvalu.. Fiji to follow..They have offered 400 scholarships to study Medicine in Cuba!
It is a slap in the face of the developed nations in the region, which are more interested in making money out of the misery of these islanders, whether studying them or selling them medicine...
Australia's relationship with Naurus, the history of it, is a good case in point...
Photo shows a young cuban medical student with a well known Cuban Musical Conductor..
Cuban medical aid
Cuba's medical aid to Pacific countries has been two-pronged, consisting in sending doctors to Oceania, and in providing scholarships for Pacific students to study medicine in Cuba at Cuba's expense.
There are currently sixteen doctors providing specialised medical care in Kiribati, with sixteen more scheduled to join them. Cubans have also offered training to I-Kiribati doctors. Cuban doctors have reportedly provided a dramatic improvement to the field of medical care in Kiribati, reducing the child mortality rate in that country by 80%, and winning the proverbial hearts and minds in the Pacific. In response, the Solomon Islands began recruiting Cuban doctors in July 2007, while Papua New Guinea and Fiji considered following suit.
In 2008, Cuba was due to send doctors to the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Nauru and Papua New Guinea, while seventeen medical students from Vanuatu would study in Cuba. It was reported that it might also provide training for Fiji doctors.
As of September 2008, fifteen Cuban doctors were serving in Kiribati, sixty-four Pacific students were studying medicine in Cuba, and Cuban authorities were offering "up to 400 scholarships to young people of that region". Among those sixty-four students were twenty-five Solomon Islanders, twenty I-Kiribati, two Nauruans and seventeen ni-Vanuatu. Pacific Islanders have been studying in Cuba since 2006.
In June 2009, Prensa Latina reported that Cuban doctors had "inaugurated a series of new health services in Tuvalu". One Cuban doctor had been serving in Tuvalu since October 2008, and two more since February 2009. They had reportedly "attended 3,496 patients, and saved 53 lives", having "opened ultrasound and abortion services, as well as specialized consultations on hypertension, diabetes, and chronic diseases in children". They had visited all the country's islands, and were training local staff in "primary health care, and how to deal with seriously ill patients, among other subjects".