Pakistan: Cubans aid 1.7 million earthquake victims

The Cuban medical brigade sent to Pakistan in the wake of last October’s massive earthquake is ending its mission after it attended to around 1.7 million patients. The earthquake struck the north of the country, killing more than 73,000 people and making 3.5 million homeless.

The Cuban medical brigade, which involved 2558 Cuban medical and support personnel, provided rehabilitation and physical therapy to 166,000 people, 32,000 of them children. According to the Pakistani government’s Earthquake Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Authority, 73% of all the patients in earthquake-hit areas were assisted by the Cuban medical brigade.

Cuba also donated 30 mobile hospitals, 241 tonnes of medicines and 275 tonnes of medical equipment, and provided training to 600 Pakistani medical students. The Cuban government has offered to provide 1000 medical scholarships to Pakistani students this year. “Earthquake relief from Cuba to Pakistan, coupled with events such as the World Social Forum have made the socialist island seem very attractive to many young Pakistanis”, the April 22 Lahore Daily Times commented.


* From “Green Left Weekly”, May 24, 2006.

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