Caracas , November 24, 2006 (Venezuelanalysis.com)— The Cuba-Venezuela Integral Health Agreement is celebrating its 6th anniversary this week. According to the President’s office, nearly 14,000 Venezuelan patients and 11,000 accompaniments have been sent to Cuba on nearly 200 flights, since 2000.
“We thank you for all of your effort,” said Jhonny Ramos, director of the Health Agreement, to officials and workers of the program Thursday during a ceremony of recognization for their hard work. “Most importantly, [thanks] for all of our mutual cooperation, so that we really feel like a family.”
According to materials from the President’s office, the mission of the agreement is to “receive, analyze, and process all the health cases, sent to the President’s office of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, with the goal of carrying out a study and the pertinent steps so that those patients that deserve treatment can be sent to the Republic of Cuba.”
Of the 13,899 patients sent to Cuba as of November 15, 2,224 had problems of the nervous system, 2,043 with problems of vision, 1,764 with skin diseases, 1,555 with osteomuscular problems, 906 with mental illnesses, 881 with tumors, 806 with circulatory problems, and hundreds more with other hearing, respiratory, digestive, urinary, metabolistic, infectious and various other illness.
Nearly half of the patients who traveled with the program to Cuba over the last 6 years where males over age 15 (6211). 4558 Females over age 15, and 3120 children under age 15 have also been sent to be treated in Cuba.
Cuba-Venezuela Health Agreement patients have come from all of Venezuela’s 24 states, but by far, the largest percentage of patients hail from Venezuela’s capital, Caracas (3,415 patients).
The new book, “The Sunrise of Hope” chronicling the experience of various ex-patients was also baptized during Thursday's ceremony.
“In the Fourth Republic, we baptized books with alcohol. Since this is a process of love, we baptize them now with flowers,” said Ramos as he covered the book with rose pedals.
A celebration for the current and ex-patients of the agreement was also held today at the Presidential Palace, Miraflores.
The numbers of patients on this week’s flight to Cuba was much smaller than usual. Program officials stated that this was because the patients did not want to travel with Venezuelan Presidential elections just a little over a week away. Nevertheless, Ramos verified today that all of the nearly 650 Venezuelans currently undergoing treatment on the Caribbean island will be able to vote in the December 3rd Presidential elections, after receiving a “change of residence.”