Medicine and supplies kits will contribute to maternal and child care in Pinar del Río
Pinar del Río, May 22th, 2023 - Health authorities in Pinar del Río received medicines and medical supplies meant to improve the services of the “Abel Santamaría Cuadrado” and “Augusto César Sandino” general hospitals and the “Pepe Portilla” pediatric hospital. UNICEF Cuba arranged the delivery as part of its response to Hurricane Ian, which caused significant damage in this western Cuban territory last September.
During the last eight months, along with the basic and specialized services provided by these health institutions, reconstruction work has been carried out to erase gradually the traces of the hurricane. Dr. Yoan Manuel Álvarez Rivera, Director of the “Abel Santamaría” General Hospital, where about five thousand births take place every year, acknowledged the contribution and expressed his gratitude for the aid that has arrived from other provinces, governments, Cubans living abroad and agencies of the United Nations System.
The new resources provided by UNICEF, with financing from the Government of Canada, are grouped into three types of kits: 14 basic kits, 1 medicines kit and 5 kits of renewable or expendable supplies. It is estimated that these materials will benefit some 22,000 people, especially mothers, children and adolescents.
Upon delivery of the medical kits, Alejandra Trossero, UNICEF Representative in Cuba, expressed her admiration for “the collective efforts so that the province can flourish once again” and highlighted the level of resilience and commitment of the people of Pinar del Río to their territory.
She also thanked the Government of Canada for its confidence in UNICEF regarding this acquisition, which contributes to the support strategy for the country's health system and, in particular, helps to strengthen the Maternal and Child Care Program. Trossero ratified the will to “continue accompanying everything that guarantees that every child grows up healthy and can develop fully.
The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Canada to Cuba, Geoff Gartshore, explained at the delivery ceremony of these health supplies, that his government allocated 50,000 Canadian dollars through the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives to make this collaboration possible, which will complement the medical services at the benefited hospitals, at least for three months. “Our donation together with UNICEF is one small contribution for the work they do”.
As the start of the 2023 hurricane season approaches, Gartshore recalled that “preparedness represents a major element of the response aimed at mitigating the impact of natural phenomena. Canadians are convinced that helping communities before and after natural disasters and other emergencies is one of the most important actions that allow us to promote human dignity and increase the possibility of continuing to create a more just, inclusive and safe world.”
On behalf of the health authorities in Pinar del Río, Dr. Mayté Cabrera Hernández, Director of the “Pepe Portilla” Provincial Pediatric Hospital, acknowledged UNICEF Cuba's historical collaboration with the Maternal and Child Care Program, a priority on the island. “You have helped us maintain our indicators in the provision of services”.
She also expressed her gratitude for the received supplies: “Rest assured that each of these resources will fulfil its defined purpose and that the population, especially every child, adolescent and expectant mother that we care for, will feel satisfaction thank to this gesture that you have had”.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.