Despite having endured a US blockade for more than 47 years, the Cuba Revolution has retained its human and solidarity nature. The Cuban Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) is a tangible example of the concern of the Cuban government for the health of the peoples in all of Latin America, Africa, and even in the United States.
The School was inaugurated on March 1999, as part of an integral health program conceived by then Cuba President Fidel Castro and other Cuban authorities to assist the victims of hurricanes Mitch and George in Central America.
These days, youngsters from Guatemala, Argentina, Panamá, El Salvador and Nicaragua among other countries arrive to Cuba to start their training at the ELAM school benefiting from a full scholarship program. Most of them belong to low income families. These youngsters are committed to returning to their countries of origin to serve everyone in their communities. That is the raison d’être of the school.
The school had its first promotion in 2005. At present it enrols 7,200 students. The curriculum makes emphasis on social and community medicine.
The Havana site of the Latin American School of Medicine provides the students with a two-year basic formation. After that, they are transferred to the school subsidiaries throughout the country. There is even another branch of the Latin American School of Medicine in Venezuela, as part of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas.
Cuba’s international solidarity in public health begun in 1963, when the first Cuban Medical Brigade was sent to Algeria. From that moment on, Cuban doctors have been helping people in medical distress situations throughout the globe.
Moreover, during these Revolution years, Cuba has graduated doctors from 120 countries. On the other hand, Cuban doctors have help organize and set up 8 Medicine Schools abroad, mostly in Africa.
The Cuban Latin American School of Medicine gives hope to poor people around the world who have had the misfortune of needing a medical doctor and not being able to consult one. The School is also proof of the fact that Cuba shares what little it has without discriminating anyone because of their race, gender, religion or political views.