“WORK hard, focus your study and don’t be derailed from achieving your big goal of becoming a doctor.” A message conveyed by KZN Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo and other leaders, to a group of 206 fourth and fifth-year medical students who are returned to Cuba on Monday.
The official send-off of the students, was held at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, was also attended by the leadership of the ANC Youth League, as well as SACP Young Communist League.
Both youth formations threw their weight behind the Cuba-RSA medical doctor training programme, with ANCYL provincial secretary Thanduxolo Sabela hitting out at those who are calling for its abolishment, and saying that they seek to thwart the empowerment of the African child.
“We are very excited to be part of this programme, where we were given an opportunity to deliver a message of support to the students. We have sent a message to them that they must take their studies seriously, as this country does lack doctors, especially Black doctors. We have seen that 99,9% of those who were attending today were Africans. We are short of African doctors, so it makes us extremely proud as the youth of South Africa when we see them studying to become medical doctors,” said Sabela.
Acting Head of Department Dr Musa Gumede supported Mr Sabela’s call for medical doctors to advance themselves and becomes medical specialists. He said that some of the challenges faced by the Department today are as a result of a historical failure by some to design specialised training programmes that respond to the country’s health needs.
MEC Dhlomo thanked the ANCYL and YCL for its support of the programme, and urged the Cuba-bound students to focus on their studies so that they can make their families and communities proud.
Addressing the students, Dhlomo said: “There’s a lot of pressure on you to go back and complete your studies. You must come back and wipe away the tears from your families, and be good citizens who are able to contribute economically and uplift your families help your mothers build homes, and get a good socio-economic status in your families, before you can even come up and help us as doctors. You must look forward to going back, because young must come back after completing your studies and break the chain of poverty at home.”
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