300 Cuba-trained professionals return home

Last Updated on Saturday, 26 December 2015, 21:01 by GxMedia

The young professionals disembark at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport.

(GINA) Over the past three days, about 300 Cuban trained Guyanese have returned from the Spanish-speaking island to serve their country.

Two hundred medical doctors arrived at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) Timehri on Wednesday while on Tuesday a batch of 99 graduates comprising agronomists and engineers returned.

Minister of Public Service Dr Jennifer Westford was at hand to welcome the students.

“We are going to be having 300 plus new professionals coming into Guyana, and obviously this means we have new skills to aid development,” she explained to the media on Tuesday.

With the return of those trained in medicine, she said, “we can now offer here a better quality care.”

The graduates, reflecting on their journey through their studies, highlighted that it has been challenging residing in a different country adapting to the culture and lifestyle, nevertheless they were optimistic about achieving their goals.

Ganesh Omapersaud, who studied for six years said that he was happy to conclude his studies, graduating and becoming certified. He added that over the years, whilst learning about medicine, he also learnt about Cuban culture.

Emmawattie Sateova Samaroo after studying for seven years, said she is ready to work hard and is confident about the health system improving. She added that it was a good idea by the Government to provide such an opportunity to Guyanese who cannot afford to study in another country.

Nikita McKenzie expressing her happiness on returning from Cuba after studying for seven years, said that she has learnt more than what was expected. She too is grateful that Government is giving Guyanese opportunities to pursue studies overseas.

Ready to serve his country, Kwesi Vancooten, who completed seven years of studies, said he was overwhelmed and satisfied that the Government was able to provide such an opening to him.

Former Presidents of Guyana and Cuba, Bharrat Jagdeo and Fidel Castro respectively, several years ago, agreed that Guyana will send 500 students to be trained in Cuba under a Special Cuban Scholarship Programme in the disciplines of Medicine, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Culture, Sport, Agriculture, and Architecture among others. At that time Guyana was experiencing a shortage of doctors.

Throughout the years, Guyana has been sending students, the first batch totalling 300 and continuing with smaller numbers over the years.