Eight Jamaicans will pursue medical studies in Cuba starting in September.
Students Jamila Brown, Regina Smith, Tony Brodnock and Trishauna Thompson will be studying for Doctor in Medicine degrees; Sovia Brown will read for Master of Science Degrees in Medical Imaging and Radiation Physics; Chad-Wayne Clarke, Health Sciences; Taneisha Atkinson, Associate Degree in Cytology, Histology and Thanatology and Dr. Dianna Maria Cleary, Paediatrics.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade’s Marcia Gilbert-Roberts urged the students to make the best of the opportunity. “Cuba’s health system is recognized among the best in the world. There is none better in terms of public health management, especially at the primary level. As medical students in Cuba, you will therefore not only acquire exceptional skills including in the Spanish language, but you will also experience the warmth of Cuban health care professionals as they transfer their knowledge and their skills to you,” she related.
Regina Smith, who spoke on behalf of the recipients, thanked the Cuban government for the scholarships. “Not only are we being given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to receive a first-class education, but we are also being given the chance to experience a new culture and to learn a new language whilst studying in Cuba,” she noted. Smith also added that the group will return to improve the health care system in Jamaica after they have completed their studies.
The ceremony at which the students were presented with their scholarships was held at the Cuban embassy in Kingston. The Cuban Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Bernardo Guanche Hernández said, “We hope that after completing your studies in Cuba, you will return to Jamaica ready to make a useful contribution to your beloved country’s development and to the well-being of Jamaicans, especially those who are in the greatest need.”
The ambassador noted that the scholarship program highlighted the continued strengthening of ties between the two islands. He also revealed that 55 Jamaicans are currently studying under the program and another 42 had graduated in the 2015/16 academic year. Additionally, over 255 Cubans are working in Jamaica’s essential sectors – including health and education.
The Jamaica-Cuba Bilateral Scholarship Programme grants are awarded through the Cuban embassy in conjunction with Jamaica’s Ministry of Finance’s Service Scholarship Unit.
The scholarship covers tuition, accommodation, meals, clothing allowance, study materials and medical care