Humanitarian Aid in Turkey, Syria/Cuban Doctors
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Humanitarian Aid in Turkey, Syria/Cuban Doctors

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Paloma Duran By Paloma Duran | Journalist and Industry Analyst - Tue, 02/14/2023 - 10:00

Humanitarian Aid in Turkey. Minister of National Defense Luis Cresencio Sandoval said that the group of Mexican rescuers is expected to return from Turkey tomorrow. "Their return depends on the evacuation of the various forces from different countries. As soon as they are able to leave, they will. Hopefully they will be on their return flight tomorrow," Sandoval said.

Previously, Sandoval said the Mexican government had sent 150 people to Turkey to help with search and rescue efforts after massive 7.7M and 7.6M earthquakes registered in the country and in Syria. The group, called “Humanitarian Aid Forces,” is composed of 90 elements of the Ministry of National Defense (SEDENA), 37 members of the Navy, 15 members of the Red Cross and 5 diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE).

According to government data, 35,331 deaths have been officially reported, with 31,643 of those occurring in Turkey and at least 3,688 in Syria.

Humanitarian Aid in Syria. Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard informed that the Mexican government will donate US$6 million to support Syria, following last week's earthquakes.  "According to the government's instructions, contact was established with the UN, which already called us to explain the process for the deposit of the US$6 million."

Due to the civil war raging in Syria, it has been challenging to send aid and rescuers. One of the cities most affected by the earthquake, Aleppo, is controlled by the government and rebels, so aid is not reaching everywhere. According to regional media, it was not until Feb. 10 that the Syrian government granted access to international aid to victims in rebel-held areas.

Cuban doctors. IMSS Director Zoé Robledo reported that, so far, there are 610 Cuban medical specialists working at 83 Mexican hospitals. “There are Cuban doctors in 12 states of our country: 93 are in Nayarit, 88 in Colima, 72 in Oaxaca, 58 in Sonora, 58 in Campeche, 47 in Baja California Sur, 29 in Guerrero, 29 in Michoacan, 19 in Veracruz, 15 in Morelos and 15 in Zacatecas.”

López Obrador has been widely criticized for hiring Cuban doctors to work in Mexico’s marginalized areas, so the government announced that it would create employment positions for Mexican doctors. Previously, López Obrador reported that the country had a deficit of 50,000 doctors, a problem exacerbated in rural areas as Mexican medical professionals seek to study and work in larger cities. The president said that, sometimes, Mexican doctors even refuse to move to rural areas. Meanwhile, medical and professional organizations in Mexico have claimed that López Obrador's initiative discriminates against Mexican doctors because they already compete in an oversaturated job market.


Photo by:   Gobierno de México

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