January 22, 2010

Mentally, physically disabled persons to get assitance from cubans

Forty Cuban professional consultants are expected to be in St. Vincent soon to work in the Lives to Live programme.

The programme, which was announced during the Prime Minister’s New Year’s address to the nation, will focus on improving the lives of the mentally and physically disabled persons in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

During his speech Prime Minister Gonsalves mentioned the harsh treatment that disabled persons endure. They are usually hidden away, discriminated against and referred to as “crippled” or “retarded.”

The prime minister said a Cuban team headed by the Vice Minister of Health has already visited the state and held discussions with the Minister of Health Douglas Slater and a team of health officials. The team of forty Cubans is expected to arrive in St. Vincent in February or March and will work along with a Vincentian team headed by senior Nurse Feroza Roache. The team will work individually with each disabled person to analyze their condition and come up with methods for appropriate care.

2,549 disabled persons have been identified in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Development will also collaborate in the programme. The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will also partner with this country in the programme.

A similar Life to Live programme was started in Cuba in July 2001. 336,864 persons living with disabilities in Cuba were involved in the programme.