Local firm sends 800kg medi-aid package to Cuba - The Community Leader and Real Estate New and Views

Recently the owner of Tingalpa-based engineering company Prior Industries Australia Pty Ltd and Chair of the Australia-Cuba Business Council, Kim Prior, sent over $75,000 worth of medical aid to the island nation of Cuba in response to the humanitarian crisis caused by COVID-19.

The 800Kg aid package consisted of some 26,000 needles, basic medical supplies including wound dressings, bandages and vitamins particularly perinatal vitamins and supplements for children impacted as a result of shortages that have swept the country in the last 12 months.

According to Australia-Cuba Business Council Chair Kim Prior, “this is an important act of good will by Australians to the Cuban plight as Cuba has done much to assist other countries throughout the pandemic.”

The small island nation has shown stunning international goodwill and resilience during the pandemic, while itself suffering severe economic hardship as a result of the ongoing pandemic and continuing sanctions from the United States.

The country dispatched some 2000 doctors and nurses worldwide last year to assist with the pandemic and has developed three COVID-19 vaccines – Abdala, Soberana 02 and Soberana Plus – to combat the virus.

Cuba itself closed its international borders to all non-residents in March 2020 and has since maintained one of the tightest lockdowns in the world to prevent the spread of the virus.

While those restrictions helped to ease the
spread during the first wave the measures have crippled the country economically with an estimated loss of $30 billion to the gross domestic product last year.

The restrictions have also failed to contain the more contagious Delta variant, with nearly half a million cases occurring since June this year.

The staggering increase in numbers has put immense strain on Cuba’s hospital system that, while well-staffed, has had difficulty obtaining the medical resources needed to meet such a catastrophic increase in numbers.

“Whilst having world’s best doctors in place is exceptional and we are fortunate in Cuba to have them,” says Cuba’s Ambassador Ariel Lorenzo. “The shortages make the jobs of those doctors extremely difficult.”

“Putting together an aid package for Cuba was an easy decision to make not only because of the economic predicament of the country but also as an act of goodwill for a country that did much to help other, less well-resourced countries,” said Kim Prior.

The Australia-Cuba Business Council is a non-partisan, not-for-profit member organisation established to work on behalf of its members to assist in the creation of successful partnerships between Australia and Cuba.

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