Derry councillors to call on Cuban medics for support in fight against Covid-19

Derry city council chamber

The Guildhall council chamber will remain empty this afternoon as representatives conduct business by way of webcam

Independent Councillors will today propose that Derry City & Strabane District Council invite Cuban medics to help in the fight against Covid-19.

The Henry Reeve Brigade, is a Cuban group of medical professionals established in 2005 with the mission of international medical solidarity, deployed worldwide in major health crises.

It comes after it emerged that members of the British military are to be brought in to assist medical staff in Northern Ireland in the fight against Covid-19.

Health Minister Robin Swann asked the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to help out, primarily at a number of hospitals across NI.

More than 100 medically-trained military personnel will be deployed.

They will assist nursing staff and help on the wards in an effort to ease the pressure on frontline staff.

In the past, the use of the military in Northern Ireland has provoked controversy.

Cllr Donnelly said: "At today’s special council meeting called regarding further community aid to combat the crisis caused by Covid 19 Myself and independent councillors Sean Carr and Paul Gallagher will be submitting the following proposal.

"That this council immediately contact the Cuban government and seek assistance from the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade in efforts to combat the crisis caused by Covid 19 in the Derry City & Strabane District Council area."

Derry City and Strabane Council previously supported a motion calling for the Brigade to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

In 15 years, the Cuban health workers who are part of the internationalist brigade are said to have saved more than 90,000 lives and provided health care to 350,000 people hit by epidemics and natural disasters in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.

After the Covid-19 outbreak, Cuban internationalist doctors also worked in Italy and Andorra.

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