supporting the call to award the nobel peace prize to the henry reeve international medical brigade IN 2021
Aware of the excellent record of the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade (or Henry Reeve Brigade for brevity) in cooperating with governments and peoples of different countries to overcome their health crisis in disaster situations and epidemic outbreaks; and of its outstanding work in confronting Covid-19 in different regions of the globe, the Philippines-Cuba Cultural and Friendship Association (PhilCuba) has joined the big number of organizations and individuals worldwide in support of a nomination for this medical brigade to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021.
Since it was formed in September 2005, the Henry Reeve Brigade has many times shown its readiness and commitment to render medical/health services to peoples in dire need, and through this, has been promoting international understanding, solidarity and peace.
Brigadistas, around 2,250 of them, immediately went to Pakistan after Kashmir suffered a catastrophic earthquake in 2005. The Henry Reeve Brigade sent medical teams to our neighbor Indonesia after a strong Tsunami wreaked havoc and killed thousands. It sent more than 1,700 health professionals to Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010 and following this, to battle cholera. It sent more than 400 doctors and nurses to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea in 2014 during the Ebola outbreak that took the lives of more than 4,000 people. The Brigade collaborated with the people of El Salvador, Guatemala, Paraguay and of many more countries in Latin America and the Caribbean at various times.
Remarkable, too, is the sending of contingents of doctors and nurses of the Henry Reeve Brigade to more than three dozen countries and non-independent territories in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean to attend to people infected by the Covid-19.
While it is true that Cuba, with its big number of health professionals, is in a position to send almost 3,000 brigadistas to serve abroad, it is the orientation of Cuba’s health workers, ingrained in the years of their training that made them ready to leave to be of service where most needed. Yes, the Henry Reeve Brigade raises the banner of Cuba, but as it does so, it underlines its revolutionary and humanist view that healthcare should be universally accessible, sustainable and free for all its citizens.
Truly, the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade comprising of “battalions in white robes” is promoting health and health justice, saving lives, bridging peoples and nations, ultimately, to bring world peace.