Visiting Cuban doctors aim to improve childbirth experience for SA moms

Starting a programme that assists in monitoring pregnancy from the first trimester is a priority for two visiting Cuban doctors.

 Leticia Perez and Yeral Qentanal arrived in South Africa in July. They are part of a cooperation agreement between Cuba and South Africa.

In terms of the agreement Cuba trains South African students as medical doctors and sending their doctors to the country to help alleviate South Africa’s shortage of doctors.

“There are no major differences between the medical system in South Africa and Cuba. Each country has its protocols and has its own way of managing cases‚” Perez said.

“We are adapting to the South African system‚ but our main concern and something we would like to change is to start an antenatal programme where we follow patients through until they give birth‚” said Qentanal

“The main problem is we’ve seen women who are far in their pregnancies‚ who come here for the first time with complications. We would like to work with them to help decrease mortality‚” Perez said‚ adding that communication is also a challenge.

“We are forced to learn local languages‚ but we get help from the nurses who translate for us.”

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