Zweli Mkhize explains contribution by Cuban team to fight against Covid-19


Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has detailed how Cuban medical personnel were spread around the country, and listed the contributions they have made to the country’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Image: Photo by Gallo Images/Phill Magakoe

The 187 Cuban medical personnel who arrived in the country in April have been of great help in SA’s fight against Covid-19.

This is according to health minister Zweli Mkhize, who was responding to parliamentary questions for written reply filed by DA leader John Steenhuisen.

Mkhize detailed how the Cuban team was spread around the country.

The Cuban brigade’s contribution, he said, includes:

  • Easing the workload on SA personnel caused by the Covid-19 pandemic;
  • Resourcefulness in primary health care, which is their speciality;
  • Being instrumental in data analysis and information management to assess the affect of the country’s strategy in dealing with the disease;
  • Spot on epidemiological prediction of the peak, which was critical for district readiness;
  • Advice in the research on the trends the pandemic has been following;
  • Contact tracing and assisting at quarantine and isolation sites;
  • Involvement in the ward-based programme and health facility decongestion programme.
The SA taxpayer, by June, had parted with R240m towards the payment of salaries for the Cuban team This was previously revealed by Mkhize when responding to a question from another DA MP.

Overall, the country had set aside R400m towards the upkeep of the Cuban team.

“The estimated budget cost is informed by actual appointment levels of the Cuban Health Brigade as determined by their registration category, which took into consideration years of experience.

“All the family physicians and bio-statisticians are appointed at grade 2 of medical officer level, and epidemiology technologists, health technology and public health specialists are at deputy director level, while biomedical engineers are at ASD level,” Mkhize said in June.

By Mawande Amashabalala – TimesLIVE

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