HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 21 (acn) Haitian President Rene Preval granted the Cuban Medical Brigade on Wednesday the National Order of Honor and Merit in the grade of Grand Officer, the top award of that Caribbean nation, in recognition of its commendable work in the struggle against the cholera epidemic, which made it possible to save many lives.
During the ceremony, held at the Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince, the Haitian head of state presented the acknowledgement to Dr. Lorenzo Somarraba, head of the Cuban Medical Mission in that country, in the presence of Alex Larsen, Haitian Minister for Health and Population, other members of the nation’s government, and representatives of international and
non-governmental organizations, the Granma newspaper reported on Thursday.
The event took place on the occasion of the assessment made six months after the outbreak of the deadly disease, which has infected 280,450 persons, 4,835 of which died.
Preval highlighted the special attention paid by Commander in Chief Fidel Castro to the struggle against cholera in Haiti, “an issue to which Fidel has dedicated some of his Reflections,” he pointed out.
Likewise, he extolled the work of the Cuban Medical Brigade, which in the hardest moments of facing the disease had 1,300 members in the most isolated places in Haiti.
For his part, Dr. Somarriba, while expressing his appreciation for the granting of the top award, said that it will be passed on to each of the Cuban health brigade members and of course particularly to Fidel.
Until Monday, the Cuban doctors had saved 73,431 Haitians infected by cholera, with a mortality rate of only 0.37 percent, and their units had not reported a deceased patient in 90 consecutive days.