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300 Saint Lucians to receive Nursing Training in Cuba

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Monday, May 29, 2006 – Over three hundred Saint Lucians will receive training in basic nursing from the Government of Cuba. This is one of results of a five day official visit to Cuba by a local delegation led by Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony

At a meeting with President Castro, Prime Minister reported on the measures taken by Government to improve the health sector including the construction of major modern health facilities and the extensive programme of refurbishing of health centres island-wide.

Having regard to the numerous pressures on the existing pool of nurses through migration, President Castro agreed to accept three hundred young Saint Lucians to pursue nursing training at institutions in Cuba. The programme is scheduled to start in October this year, but successful candidates will be expected to leave Saint Lucia on June 20th to pursue an intensive three month Spanish language programme prior to the commencement of the two year nursing course. The Government of Saint Lucia will also discuss with the Cuban authorities, the possibility of the top performers going onto to pursue advanced training.

The full cost of the training will be met by the Government of Cuba. However Prime Minister Anthony has stated that Government is willing to offer a small stipend to the successful students.

The Ministries of Education an Health will coordinate the recruitment of the candidates for the training and further information will be provided to the public later this week

Also taking part in the discussion with the Cuban president were Senator Petrus Compton, Minister of External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation, Hon. Jon Odlum Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Health Human Services and Gender Affairs

Highlights of the official tour to Cuba were visits to the “Marina Hemingway” Centre of the Miracle Operation, and the Pando Ferrer Ophthalmology Institute, and discussions with the senior government officials at the Revolution Palace.

The delegation was led by Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony and included, Mr. Joseph “Reds” Pereira of the Saint Lucia Boxing Association, representatives of the local media and the Department of Information Services.

The full report on the visit will be presented in a subsequent news release.

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