In 2007, our first batch of eager students entered their 7 year scholarship program provided by the Cuban Government to Malaysians for the first time.There were six in all. My daughter, Sasha Jo Anne Gomez was one of the recipients and I remember after the initial briefing by the officials at the Cuban Embassy here in Malaysia she had so many unanswered questions which could only be enlightened once she embarked on her dream of being a doctor while there.
She left in pursuit of her dream and today stands counted as one of the first Malaysian to graduate with a Medical Degree from the Universidad de Ciencias Medicas in Camaguey. A tremendously proud moment for her and the two other Malaysians who studied at the same University - Rachel Saw and Jasmine and the rest of the students in Ciego de Avila.
These girls endured tremendous challenges and made Cuba their home for the past 7 years. The first challenge they had to face was their successful attempt in studying the whole course in Spanish - a language foreign to them then but now fluent. I watched them with pride communicating with the rest of the local and foreign graduates during the ceremony speaking in the their native language and I realized then that they had much to be proud of as they had also gained in their ability to speak one of the most prominent and versatile languages in the world.
Attending their graduation I did with so much pride and wonder. I love the country for the many colors that it portray. They are astoundingly beautiful and I believe that Cubans are one of the most intelligent people in the world. There are many vaccines researched and founded by them. Everyone I spoke to had so much respect for the Cuban Medical Degree and the generosity of the Cuban Government in providing the scholarship to foreigners is to be much respected and appreciated. They show the world that they are willing to share their knowledge in medical advancements for the betterment of the world and help third world countries in providing good doctors for their society There are many students from the poorer countries there who are happy to receive the scholarship and pursue their dream - intelligent students who would not have made it otherwise for lack of funds. I spoke to one of them, Ramesh from Guyana who kept me enthralled with his capability to explain intricate medical terms and their analogy and thus prescribing medication just listening to symptoms. He could also with such ease tell us about its functionality and adverse effects and he was in his 5th year of the program. This is what the Cuban government has taught our children - to be analytical and think out of the box and be fast in their overall summation of a patient.
So it is with so much relief that we celebrate our first graduates and may their dreams take them far in providing the best healthcare possible and we congratulate them on making their dream a reality and success!
So Viva Cuba and their contribution to humankind.
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