Cuba pledges to start medical equipment, vaccine production in Nigeria
Cuba has said that it will assist Nigeria commence the production of medical equipment and vaccines in the country to tackle some preventable diseases, save lives and create jobs for Nigerians.
The Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria, Carlos Trejo, made this known while addressing newsmen on Monday ahead of the Afro-Cuban conference and Festival holding in Abuja even as he averred that the the last 45 years of Cuba and Nigeria’s relationship has been “very fruitful.”
Trejo noted that Cuban specialists would today arrive Nigeria to begin the training of some Nigerians on how to manufacture some medical equipment and vaccines, even as he tasked the Nigerian government to key into Cuba’s advanced healthcare and education system.
He said “At the moment we are trying to go forward, tying to create a basis upon which we will garner a better sub economic interest for the two sides. We have offered to produce in Nigeria; Cuban machines, some of them which are unique in the world. Like for example the vaccine against meningitis type B and C.
“Also, we are trying to prevent the amputation of limbs in people suffering from diabetes, it has been successfully tried in Nigeria and we are about to get approval for it to be used and introduced in Nigeria.
“We want our brothers and sisters here to be able to one day and not a very far day to produce those things in Nigeria. Some Cuban equipment for early detection of diseases such as cancer, HIV or anything which could be traced even before babies are born or conceived.
“These equipment are ready, the Cuban specialist to train the Nigerians are coming today to test those things which we will also produce in Nigeria because we don’t want our brothers and sisters to be gun importers. Nigeria can have sustainability in the production of such things which are very important.
“We are training your people we are trying to reach the entire Nigerian population. It is important for Nigeria because it will provide jobs, make the community a scientist community and the latest generation of technology could be used and produced to give health and care to the people of Nigeria.”
Meanwhile a coalition of human rights activists under the auspices of Nigeria Movement of Solidarity with Cuba, has advised the Federal Government to emulate Cuba by appointing competent persons to head key positions of authority in the country.
Membership of the CSO is drawn from several groups and organisations including the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).
Secretary of the movement, Comrade Abiodun Aremu, raised concerns that the appointment of key officials based on ethnic, religious and regional affiliations, were inimical to the country’s development.
Aremu noted that Cuba has flourished in the practice of democracy and advised that Nigeria and other African countries should adopt Cuba’s model of a patriotic and clear leadership, which places its people first in all matters.
“It is Africa’s interest to follow the development path of Cuba which guarantees free and qualitative health and education for all it’s citizens, gender equality as well as its ability to locally produce medicine and vaccines for its people.
“If Nigeria appoints competent persons into positions of authority like Cuba does, rather than base appointments on ethno-religious and regional considerations, the country will be on the path of development,” the group said.
Innocent Odoh, Abuja