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2011-06-15: Cuban-trained doctors and engineers volunteer their services in Soweto to honour June 16

CUBAN-TRAINED doctors and engineers together with the City of Johannesburg Health Department will provide free services in Soweto on June 16 to honour the class of June 16, 1976.

More than 100 South African medical and engineering graduates trained in Cuba and Cuba embassy will volunteer their services at Chiawelo Clinic in Soweto on Thursday, 16 June 2011 to honour those young people who died in the student uprising in 1976.

The event will take place as follow:

Date: Thursday, 16 June 2011
Time: 9h00 - 14h00
Venue: Chiawelo Clinic, 1753 Rihlamphu Street, Chiawelo, Soweto

"We felt the need to volunteer our services in Soweto because that is where most people cannot afford good medical treatment. June 16 is pivotal to us because that’s when our brothers died for the education we have today", said Dr Desmond Pilane.

"From 9am to 4pm we will be diagnosing and checking patients at clinics". Another doctor, Lincoln Siquishe, said some of the doctors would visit families living around the clinic, to check on patients who were not able to go to the clinic to receive treatment.

"In Cuba we have a notion that a patient is a bio-psychosocial being, meaning we have to come to see the patient as a social person and not a just a human. We have to know what kind of state they are living in, whether they have food in the house and what kind of relationship they have", he said.

They are inviting the youth around Soweto particular Chiawelo to come to Chiawelo clinic on the 16th June 2011 to participate in the activities those who clinical background will assist with clinical work and those who do not have clinical background will assist with repair work around Chiawelo clinic and cleaning the facility.

We encourage the youth to come and help out at Chiawelo clinic on that day in commemoration of the activist youth of June 16, 1976. "I got my qualification as an engineer in Cuba and I will be using my skills on that day to give back to the community by doing repair work and cleaning at the clinic", said Moeketsi Sekhokoane.

The Member of the Mayoral Committee for Health in the City of Johannesburg, Clr Nonceba Molwele said they chose Chiawelo Clinic because it was not only a clinic but also a training centre for nurses.

"We believe that by doing this project there, we will benefit our own health professionals who are training at the centre", she said

Molwele emphasized that the project also aimed to promote the concept of volunteerism among the health professionals in Johannesburg.


For further information please contact:
Moeketsi Sekhokoane
Deputy Chairperson
Ex-Cuban Graduates Association
Cell: 082 925 4951
Dr Lincoln Squishe
Ex-Cuban Graduates Association
Cell: 076 732 9954

Issued by:
Nkosinathi Nkabinde
Communication Specialist
City of Johannesburg Health Department
Tel: (011) 407 - 6477
Cell: 083 408 7787