President of the Republic Jose Ramos-Horta, is to be congratulated for this very appropriate recognition of the value of the Cuban peoples’ solidarity to the people of Timor-Leste.
Cuban cooperation in the health area that has been ongoing since 2005, and has had all-party support, transcending changes in governments in Timor-Leste since, has saved in excess of 17, 000 lives through service delivery to the grassroots at the village and suco level, where over 5,000,000 consultations have been carried out with the people in rural areas as well as in district and national capitals.
Further, by 2015, thanks largely to the Cuban health cooperation in training Timorese doctors, Timor-Leste will have 500 doctors ready to serve our people. At the moment there are 945 young Timorese being trained as doctors, 732 of these being trained right here in Timor-Leste at the Medicine Faculty staffed by Cuban doctors undertaking the training of Timor-Leste’s future doctors.
In time, Timor-Leste’s medical faculty, will itself be able to begin training doctors from all over the Asia Pacific, with a n umber of Timorese being trained to the level of medical lecturers and trainers themselves.
Ambassador Ramon Hernandez Vasquez is a worthy recipient of the Insignia of the Order of Timor-Leste, for his tireless efforts in ensuring this health cooperation reached its optimum potential. He is a real friend of Timor-Leste and its people and we will miss him.
President Ramos-Horta is to be supported by all Leste Timorese in the nomination of the Cuban doctors for a Nobel Peace Prize. Though it is not necessarily a measure of the immeasurable and sustainable contribution they have made to bettering the health conditions of our people, it is important that we Timorese do all we can to ensure their efforts are internationally recognized.
Jose Teixeira M.P.