The Cuban government is preparing to send a 48-member medical team to Nepal in the aftermath of the fatal earthquake that has already claimed the lives of nearly 7,700 people and left at least 16,300 wounded or sick.
Cuban officials said Wednesday that 22 doctors would be among the team of medical specialists traveling to the disaster hit region. They would also take a field hospital that contains a surgical unit, sterilization equipment, an intensive care unit and diagnostic equipment including X-ray and ultrasound machines, according to officials.
Cuba is well known for its medical internationalism, where medical specialists are often sent abroad to respond to natural disasters or other major health epidemics, and many more work permanently abroad to provide ongoing care. Last year, the socialist island nation sent 256 doctors to West Africa where the Ebola outbreak was the most severe. The doctors returned to Cuba in March, after spending six months treating patients affected by the deadly virus.
The severe 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25 was the deadliest to hit the country in over 80 years.
Thousands of people gathered across the country Thursday to mark the last day of a 13-day mourning period for the victims of the quake. The main event was held in the ruins of the historic Kastamandap temple in the capital of Kathmandu, where over 500 people gathered to honor the dead.