Latin American Health Day

Dear healthcare workers:

It was the second half of the 19th century when Dr. Carlos Juan Finlay Barrés, considered the greatest Cuban scientist of all time, revealed to the world the mystery of the agent that transmits yellow fever, a disease that claimed, at that time, thousands of lives in different corners of the earth.

Finlay was born in Camagüey, in 1833. His industriousness, perseverance and dedication allowed him not only to make such a discovery, but also to raise the theory of the transmission of diseases by biological agents.

The eminent doctor dedicated his entire life to solving the great problems of the epidemiological picture of our country in his time. In his tribute, and in commemoration of his birth, we celebrate every December 3 the Day of Latin American Medicine and the Health Worker.

Finlay’s work also transcended for its contribution to the understanding of the behavior of epidemics, which have plagued humanity since ancient times. It was a clear example of perseverance and dedication to the medical profession and how science, based on health, produces significant advances in the protection of the most precious thing in the human being: life.

In this 2020, Cuban health workers and students, faithful heirs of Finlay’s legacy and consistent with the development achieved by Cuban public health after the revolutionary triumph – work of which our Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz was the driving force and chief architect- have tirelessly dedicated themselves to the fight against a new epidemic, inside and outside the country.

Charged with professionalism, altruism and solidarity, they have not given up in their efforts to win – along with our people – the battle against COVID-19.

Every minute has counted, every recovered patient who returns home means multiplied joy; each loss has turned into shared pain and learning; each diagnosis made – which in turn prevents the transmission of the disease to other people – has represented another step on the road.

There is not a single member of our army in white coats that has not grown up, in times when the country has also had to do so, in the face of a brutal blockade that intensified even in the midst of the international health crisis.

For you, our recognition and the gratitude from all our people, together with the embrace of those who have received, in other latitudes, the care of the Cuban medicine.

On this historic date, our congratulations reach all – both those who are in the first combat trench in the country, as well as the thousands of collaborators who honorably provide their services in other parts of the world – on behalf of the Direction Board of the Ministry of Public Health and the National Secretariat of the Union of Health Workers.

 In a country that has bet since the revolutionary triumph for universal, free, accessible and quality health care for its people and for many other peoples that need it, and with the conviction that, as Raúl said: “… it was possible Yes, we can and we will overcome any obstacle, threat or turbulence in our firm commitment to build socialism in Cuba, or what is the same, guarantee the independence and sovereignty of the homeland! ”, we will continue to count on you to the great challenges that lie ahead, confident that with your dedication and dedication we will be able to achieve higher goals in the health indicators of the Cuban population.

We will remain united, in this fight for life.

A hug.

Dr. José Ángel Portal Miranda

Minister of Public Health

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