As the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) claims that President Muhammadu Buhari is about to fly abroad for medical treatment (Buhari claimed he has been seeing doctors in London since 1978), the Cuban ambassador in Nigeria last night suggested how his country could support Nigerian healthcare. Cuba has universal healthcare for all its citizens, posts some of the best healthcare outcomes in the world in terms of infant mortality and life expectancy, and is a world leader in biotechnology.
This report from the News Agency of Nigeria sheds more light on the Cuban ambassador’s proposals.
The Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Carlos Trejo-Sosa, has said his country has started negotiation with the Federal Government on how to help Nigeria stop medical tourism.
Trejo-Sosa said this while answering questions from newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja.
“Cuba is ready to help Nigeria stop medical tourism by collaborating with Nigerian doctors in attending to medical issues in the country rather than going abroad.
“This will help to save part of about one billion dollars (N420 billion) your country spent on medical tourism .”
“In terms of healthcare, as you know we have a comprehensive system in Cuba, it has been working very well in decades.
“The life expectancy in Cuba is about 80 years. Women live longer. About half a year longer than we (men) live.
“Infant mortality rate in Cuba is only 4.2 per 1000. It is one of the lowest in the world,” he said.
He said that with the system put in place over the years medical service in Cuba was now the cheapest in the world and covered all the needs of the population.
He said that Cuba was ready to replicate its achievement in eliminating malaria in Nigeria, which he said his country attained since 1967.
“We want to share with Nigeria our experiences in the area of sciences and so we are in negotiation with Nigerian authority to produce an agreement in some areas.
“We have spoken to different stakeholders in Nigeria so that we can bring in things of excellence. You have hospitals and that can save a lot of money”.
He described Cuba and Nigeria relationship as very excellent, adding that there was a political understanding between both countries and also a common approach to international issues.
According to him both countries are trying to put in the highest economic exchange between them.