Reports reaching Ghananewspress.com indicates that Ghanaian students studying in Cuba are dying slowly one after the other as the school has refused them medical attention.
It is the joy of every child to have their dreams realized , more so when it comes as due reward for years of sacrifice and hard work. Many of us were overcome with jubilation when we learned that we had gained the opportunity, despite the steep competition of thousands, to begin to fulfill our dreams as future medical students. Now, our goal of becoming doctors seemed that much closer within reach, seemingly unbelievable with free board, meals and an education from one of the pioneer countries of medicine in the world, all our basic needs attended to with our only worry being our education and making our parents and country proud.
That is what was supposed to happen, we were supposed to be fed and cared for as we struggled so as to contribute to Ghana and to our people in the future. We set our expectations high only to fall short as we were sabotaged by our own government.
None of us accounted for the water shortages, the rotting food being served to not only us but also our friends of wiggling kind and the lack of petrol to facilitate transportation which would later cause the loss of our brother. Despite all of these challenges, us the Ghanaian students have persevered, upheld a standard well above reach of even those with Spanish as their native language, we looked at the challenges facing us and understand that no country is without its problems, and Cuba is far from perfect.
Throughout it all, we have been impeccable, despite assistance from our embassy during the pandemic which claimed millions, despite the lack of stipends leaving us starving and hungry with the inflated prices dominating the Cuban economy, despite the loss of our brother Erasmus because of the negligence of the Ghanaian embassy and our sponsors.
Countless times since our arrival here in 2019 we have had medical issues reported to the schools clinic receiving in return mediocre and below par treatments due to our status as Autofinanciados ( meaning we aren’t under Cuban scholarship). This led to the us most likely being refused treatment by the schools public clinic and being told that we need to seek health care from a hospital allocated for auto financed students located outside of campus which given the current quarantine is impossible, moreover, on a country scale, the hospital almost has no medicine to give us and the healthcare administered over there isn’t up to par, which left us with no choice but to rely on the embassy who had already abandoned us.
Which was made worse by the increase in COVID 19 cases which led to my school adopting a ‘lock down’ protocol where nobody leaves or comes in except workers or embassy officials, of course with the exception of the Ghanaian embassy. Therefore, in our case as Ghanaian auto financed students, the school ambulance has to take us to and fro the hospital which is often impossible as there’s no petrol in the the ambulance, moreover, there has been an instance where Ghanaian students were on the ambulance headed for medical care and were asked to get down from the car so that other nationals can board the ambulance.
All these issues have been reported to our embassy here in Cuba on several occasions but they showed zero concern to our plights.
Not even when our plights led to the loss of our brother Erasmus Klutse, who despite being diabetic was able to outrun and outplay every student on campus, he went about his day everytime with so much zeal and joy until his untimely demise provoked by a hypoglycemic episode on May 7th 2021 at around 6am which could have been treated easily if proper health care was administered to him. Despite being rushed to the schools clinic while being conscious at the time he was refused treatment as an auto financed student and was supposed to be sent outside of the school for medical attention, but allegedly the ambulance had no gasoline. Our brother our pastor our friend died because of the terrible healthcare protocol of Cubans , which was made possible by the negligence of our embassy here and our sponsors GNPC. because of their negligence we went from 170 students, to 169 a loss we felt deeply and will continue to feel for the rest of our lives.
We spent the nights following his passing praying for his return and wondering why his life, our lives, are not worthy of being saved not only by the Cubans but also by our sponsors. We wondered why Erasmus, a diabetic student was denied his stipend for over 5 months, why his number was blocked by embassy oficiales for asking about said stipend and why his death was met with callousness and attempted bribery by the Ghanaian officials. We wondered what use does a stipend have for us now, after we have lost our friend.
We have raised many health issues and other concerns to our embassy and sponsors , and everytime we are subtly reminded that we are fortunate to have received this opportunity to study here in Cuba.
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