|Volume No. 1 Issue No. 77 - Wednesday February 22, 2006
|Cuban government comes to the aid of Dominica |
Dominica’s Prime Minister,
Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, was in high spirits yesterday for the official opening ceremony of the Cuban Technical Assistance Nursing Programme, a collaborative effort between the Government of Dominica, the Dominica State College and the Government of the Republic of Cuba.
It was on a visit to Cuba in July last year by Prime Minister Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit that the nursing shortage in Dominica was discussed with the Cuban leader, Dr. Fidel Castro.
At the opening ceremony on Monday, Prime Minister, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, expressed his gratitude to the Government and people of Cuba: “ I stand before you today with the greatest sense of emotion and pride. Today we are here to witness the launch of this Programme.
“ I wish to thank the people of Cuba. It is through their hard work for humanity that they are able to assist persons all over the world.”
In his address to the opening ceremony, Minister for Health and Social Security, Hon. John Fabien, admitted that his Ministry has had a difficult time in the face of approaches from Nursing agencies in North America offering attractive packages to Dominican nurses.
The Minister concluded however: “ Under this Programme of Technical Assistance, the plan is to train one hundred (100) nurses annually. This would include Registered Nurses, Midwives and level II Nurses.”
President of the Dominica State College, Dr J. Annette Bardouille, was full of praise for the “tireless efforts” of the Prime Minister and the Minister for Health and Social Security in getting the Programme to this advanced stage.
Mrs Bardouille told the Seventy-five (75) students enrolled in the Programme that great things were expected from them and they were “pace-setters”. In concluding, the State College President said: “ For us at the Dominica State College, this is a new beginning with endless possibilities.”
As part of the technical assistance being provided by Cuba, the Cuban Government is also assisting in the refurbishment of the old Nursing School at the Princess Margaret Hospital with the sum of EC$1.2 million while the Government of Dominica is contributing EC$400,000.
The official opening ceremony was also attended by senior officials from the Cuban Government. Minister of Public Health, Ministry of State Council and Councils of Ministers of the Republic of Cuba, Dr. Jose Ramon Balageur and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Yilian Jimenez.
In recognition of the deep friendship that exists between Dominica and Cuba, Mr. Clarkson Thomas has been appointed as Dominica’s Ambassador to Cuba. At the same time, the Cuban Authorities are in the process of establishing an embassy here in Dominica.