Photo: Granma

LA PAZ, Bolivia.— The Moto Méndez medical mission in Bolivia, which features experts from Cuba and that country, is showing tangible results in improving the quality of life of persons with disabilities.

Bolivians have known about the work of the Cuban medical brigade in their country for many years. Beyond consultation figures, the delegation is characterized by the love members profess for the people of this Andean nation, a feeling that is reciprocated.
Citizens – exercising their right to health as established by the government of President Evo Morales – attend consultations by Cuban collaborators trained in Comprehensive Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Neurology, Geriatrics, Otolaryngology and Dermatology, among other areas.

Part of the Cuban medical brigade has been working with the disabled for several years, providing specialized care to this segment of society in order to improve their quality of life.

Speaking to Prensa Latina, a member of Mission Moto Méndez, Dr. Anoris Herrera, stated that she joined the program in 2012, initially working on a action research project.

Herrera, with a Masters in Genetic Counseling explained that at that time a disability study was being conducted across the country’s nine departments, which concluded in August of this year.

“Initially 82,087 people with disabilities were surveyed, and motor-physical conditions stood out above all others, while over 18,000 people with mental disabilities were also evaluated,” stated Herrera.

The investigation continued on to a second stage, this time involving experts with Masters in Genetic Counseling in every one of the country’s departments, who continued to identify people with special capabilities, stated Herrera.

While working on Mission Moto Méndez, chromosomal studies stemming from an agreement between the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, Venezuela’s National Genetic Center and several related entities in Cuba, were launched. Later, the investigation was undertaken in Bolivia, in the laboratories of La Paz’s San Andrés University, she noted.

The results of the chromosomal studies were presented to family members of disabled persons, who were also provided with a genetic counseling program.

According to Herrera, Mission Moto Méndez’s main achievements include the training of human resources in physical medicine, rehabilitation, and genetics; in fact Bolivia currently has a clinical genetics expert trained in Cuba.

At present we provide permanent support to special projects, such as rehabilitation centers which already exist throughout the country, although the ultimate aim is to have 200, stated Herrera.

Bolivia also has other special programs, such as one for prosthetics and technical aid which are not only designed to improve patients’ quality of life, but also create jobs, stated the doctor. (PL)