21 Mar REPUBLIC OF EQUATORIAL GUINEA MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL WELFARE; MALABO, MARCH 19, 2022. OFFICIAL COMMUNICATION
- After the publication of an article belonging to a non-official digital newspaper, carried out on March 18, 2022, in which a document loaded with inaccuracies and uncertain data is published, related to the cooperation agreement, within the framework of bilateral relations between the Government of Equatorial Guinea and the Government of Cuba. We consider it opportune and necessary to make the following considerations:
- The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare makes use of the authorities conferred on it to deny and clarify the false testimonies that are published in this digital newspaper and that today circulate on social networks, without the veracity that this type of content deserves.
- From our work projections as an institution, it is up to us to guarantee compliance with the Intergovernmental Agreement, but it is not our responsibility to ensure the contractual relations that, individually, the foreign aid worker signs with his Government before arriving in the country, and through the which ensures their willingness to professionally fulfill the task entrusted under the principle of voluntariness.
- We emphasize that the cooperation between the Government of Equatorial Guinea and the Government of Cuba dates back almost 50 years, with excellent bilateral relations based on principles, solidarity and always with a socio-humanitarian approach.
- We categorically deny the salary figures cited in said article (15 thousand dollars) being uncertain and based on unfounded speculation, no health worker in this country earns a salary of this magnitude, not even those linked to the private sector, so it is an element loaded with falsehood and bad intentions.
- In relation to the impossibility of exchanging currency, it should be noted that this problem is not the exclusive patrimony of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, since it is a generalized situation in the Central African region, and what is stated in this article is a fallacy, even more if the requirements of the regulatory banks in charge of the application of the common monetary policy, and of the management and control of exchange reserves are known.
- In the midst of the current context caused by the COVID 19 pandemic, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has maintained solid work strategies to safeguard the health of the Equatorial Guinean population and foreigners residing in the country, but we are all aware of the negative effects of this international health crisis, not only in the field of health but also in the economic and social sector. Parallel to the current health crisis, we have presented irregularities in the current availability of the National Air Fleet, which is being renewed and whose situation will soon be resolved, which will allow flights to be regularized to comply with the commitments established within the framework of the Agreement.
- In the selfless confrontation with the current COVID-19 pandemic, as a health system, with more than two years of hard work, we want to express that we are very satisfied with the services that this cooperation has provided in the country, as a Regular Brigade, and later with the arrival of the “Henry Reeve” Medical Brigade as a reinforcement strategy at the request of our Government.
In this context, it is true that we have had to mourn with deep sorrow the death of health professionals, both Equatorial Guineans and Cubans, as has the rest of the world, for being the most exposed professionals in this tough battle against a lethal and dangerous disease.
In relation to this last point, we would like to express our great indignation for trivializing this pain that concerns us all, events that we also consider unfortunate for families, health systems and society in general. We believe that no political or propaganda reason should make use of this type of content or justifications, a display of non-human interests charged with insensitivity.
Despite these unfortunate events, it is also very important to point out the strengthening of the health system in the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and the consequent containment of four major waves of COVID 19 infections in the country, since the pandemic began. Some indicators that, without a doubt, would not have been possible without the extraordinary help of the Cuban medical cooperation based in the country, which together with Equatoguinean professionals, have managed to solidify effective confrontation and containment strategies, which have been demonstrated during the four waves of contagion, as we mentioned earlier, thus strengthening teamwork and an excellent combination of professionalism.
Today, the Republic of Equatorial Guinea has control indicators above those of major world powers and at the regional level, and this has been largely thanks to the great efforts of the Government and the absolute dedication of health professionals, and, within these, Cuban professionals.
In this way, we ratify our gratitude and commitment to the Cuban Medical Brigade, and we strongly reject any attempt at media distortion and manipulation to discredit the Government of Equatorial Guinea and the Cuban Medical Brigade that works and collaborates here.
Ministry of Health and Social Welfare