The Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria, Clara Escandell, speaks to ADELANI ADEPEGBA concerning the measures being deployed towards coronavirus in her nation and the brand new medication formulated by Cuban scientists to assist diabetics
Are you able to share your expertise up to now in Nigeria?
I’ve been in Nigeria since December 2019. I used to make a joke that I’ve been in Nigeria three months plus COVID-19. I introduced my credentials to the President originally of March 2020 and simply after that, COVID-19 began, and that has a modified loads of issues, that means that I couldn’t work with the depth, pace that I might like to work on this beloved nation. So, I’ve been right here for a 12 months and a half and I’ve had the chance to satisfy essential officers of the federal government. After all, it’s a regular factor that an envoy has an excellent relationship with the Ministry of International Affairs. We’ve been approaching a few of the key ministries right here, just like the ministries of science and expertise, schooling, well being, agriculture; (exploring) areas we now have had relationship between Cuba and Nigeria and areas the place we hope that the connection can proceed and be even higher. Like most of my colleague ambassadors right here, in Nigeria, I’m additionally accredited to the ECOWAS and naturally, we have a look at the connection within the case of ECOWAS and the whole area and notably, to bolster our bilateral relation with Nigeria.
What’s Cuba’s main import from Nigeria?
We don’t have a powerful commerce (relationship), sadly. I feel it may be improved sooner or later. In the meanwhile, we now have few Cuban merchandise within the space of well being, already registered in Nigeria. And we now have additionally some merchandise from totally different Cuban establishments which can be provided via a particular import allow. They’re many; we now have medication for diabetes in addition to a meningitis medicine imported by the World Well being Organisation to be used within the northeastern a part of Nigeria. Heberprot-P is a vital drug you possibly can apply for diabetes sore. With this drug, it can save you the foot of a diabetic affected person from amputation. It’s being provided by medical docs who’re educated within the software of the medication.
How efficient is the diabetes drug?
Within the case of diabetes, we now have two or three essential medication. A very powerful factor is to keep away from some form of meals, and to be disciplined, which is the perfect. Herberprot-P shouldn’t be for diabetes however for diabetes toes, which is likely one of the facet developments of the sickness. We’ve the PPG and Herberprot-P. We’ve educated some docs in Nigeria on the drug software. Herberprot-P is utilized across the wound space and it’s efficient however costly. It’s not a drug you possibly can simply purchase on the pharmacy and apply. It needs to be utilized by a medical physician; you possibly can’t apply it by your self. The appliance could be very delicate however it will possibly save the toes of the particular person.
What’s being achieved to crash the value and make the medication extensively accessible in Nigeria?
I don’t know however I can say it’s a biotechnological drug; a really subtle one.
Is there any ongoing scientific collaboration between Nigerian and Cuban scientists or establishments?
The Minister of Science and Know-how, Ogbonnaya Onu, has mentioned that they’re going to enhance the relations between Cuba and Nigeria and he’s speaking about partnership in areas of agriculture and well being. Some Cuban consultants have visited Nigeria and are working right here in numerous fields of science. In Cuba, we practise preventive medication. For us, it’s extra essential to stop than to treatment. We’re not speaking solely about what Nigeria can profit from Cuba but in addition what Cuba can profit from Nigeria. We discuss conventional medication, and easy methods to use it in a handiest means. That is an space wherein we will additionally study. I additionally imagine that scientific relationship is in two methods as a result of we now have one thing to offer and one thing to absorb this relationship.
Do Cubans imagine strongly in conventional medication?
Sure, however not as strongly as we now have in Nigeria. There are historic causes for that; the primary is that our unique inhabitants have been exterminated when colonialism began, so we misplaced loads of historic riches. The second half is that the influence of the Africans who have been delivered to Cuba as slaves weren’t taken severely by the colonial masters. They have been utilizing the standard information of the Africans however there’s an official rejection of that African information in an effort to suppress their tradition and information which is essential for the individuals practising slavery. Conventional medication could be crucial relying on the use. As I mentioned, we don’t have a really sturdy affect in that space however it’s also an important and attention-grabbing space to think about.
Do you suppose Nigeria is taking full benefit of its information in conventional medication?
Actually, I don’t know as a result of I’m not an skilled in that space however what I can say is that Nigeria is researching and attempting to make superior medication from conventional herbs. It appears to me that Nigeria is having an influence and in addition, you’ve got good establishments concerned in conventional medicines, not solely in Nigeria but in addition on the regional stage of ECOWAS. So, to some extent, Nigeria is likely one of the nations blazing the path in that regard. On whether or not Nigeria is taking full benefit of its information in conventional medication, I can’t offer you a solution.
What’s the Cuban authorities doing to sort out coronavirus?
Within the case of coronavirus, we now have three methods. The primary and the perfect is a common method to well being and the epidemiological method. It means we’re conducting very critical analysis into the illness on the grassroots stage in an effort to get a bonus over the illness. We have been in a position to management the primary wave of coronavirus and we additionally managed the second wave which ravaged many elements of the world, together with Nigeria. That additionally affected us however we managed to manage it. We’re struggling the third wave and it’s the new variant of coronavirus which has a excessive stage of an infection and fatality. We hope the third wave wouldn’t have an effect on Nigeria the best way it’s affecting different nations. The epidemiological method is vital to stopping the third wave. The second method is the help to sick individuals. We’ve fairly a powerful well being system in Cuba and a bottom-up method. All constructive circumstances and all asymptomatic circumstances are positioned on admission. It means we now have a excessive variety of individuals on medical admission to chop the transmission as a lot as doable. The third axis of the administration of coronavirus is the scientific method, which consists of easy methods to deal with the particular person, easy methods to present the perfect medication for every case and the event of a number of gear. As we’re speaking, a number of ventilators have been accepted in Cuba. For the time being, Cuba has developed 5 various kinds of vaccines, 4 of them are nonetheless candidates. Abdala is now a vaccine being massively utilized as an emergency vaccine within the area. Virtually eight million doses have been administered and it has 92.28 per cent effectiveness. Abdala has three jabs. We even have Soberana and Mambisa vaccines.
How was Cuba in a position to produce the vaccines despite the US blockade?
Generally, we use totally different gadgets to substitute. Generally, we additionally should promote a part of it in an effort to import as a result of we can not import parts produced in the US or produced by a United States firm. Additionally, we can not import something that has 10 per cent of a element of a product produced by an American firm. This implies it is rather troublesome for us, so we needed to go to markets which can be removed from us and this will increase the prices. For a 3rd world, under-developed nation with few pure assets, it’s a nice problem. Now, a few of them are saying ‘Let’s go and assist Cuba.’ If you wish to assist Cuba, permit us to have our regular life like every nation all around the world. There is no such thing as a means any nation can affect the US to cease the blockade, they’ve to vary themselves. Additionally it is affecting the economic system of the US as a result of no US firm can commerce with Cuba.
What’s the stage of cultural affiliation between Cuba and Nigeria?
We’ve very sturdy roots however I feel we don’t have sufficient construction in place as a result of whenever you have a look at the Cuban tradition in lots of facets – our music, the Nigerian affect is extraordinary; and our dance – the rhythm of Cuban music is African and notably Nigerian. Even to our portray, you’ll see loads of affect and Nigerian facet in our sculpture and artwork. As an illustration, we now have by no means made a joint manufacturing in cinema and Nollywood , little doubt, is likely one of the greatest on the planet right this moment. We’ve related themes, African themes in our cinema productions and every day lives.
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