JIS News

KINGSTON — Five Jamaican students have been awarded scholarships to study medicine at universities in Cuba, under the 2011/2012 Cuba-Jamaica Medical Scholarship Programme.

Cuba’s Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Yuri Gala Lopez, presented the scholarships on Friday, June 10, at a ceremony at the Cuban Embassy, on Trafalgar Road, in Kingston. The awardees were Cheryl Barnes, Kimberley Lynch, Okiney Clarke, David Dwyer and Delano Davis.

In an interview with JIS News, second year student at the University of the West Indies (UWI), David Dwyer, said that he was extremely pleased to receive the scholarship.

“It gives me the opportunity to experience a new culture and to learn a new language,” he said. A past student of Mannings High School, in Westmoreland, David said studying medicine was always his dream. He had enrolled at UWI to pursue studies in Food Chemistry, with the hope of eventually going into the medical field.

“Being given this opportunity now, I know I can pursue medicine without having the financial pressure. It is not easy to pursue medicine in Jamaica you know, so I am indeed grateful for this scholarship,” he explained.

Another awardee, Cheryl Barnes, said she was equally grateful for the scholarship because of her economic situation.

“I am very grateful for this opportunity because (of) where I am coming from. I think I really deserve it, because I have worked very hard,” she said.

Ambassador Lopez urged the awardees to do well in their studies, and make a meaningful contribution to Jamaica’s development, and to the well-being of its people.

He said that cooperative ties between Cuba and Jamaica have strengthened over the years, noting that some 250 Jamaican youths are currently studying at Cuban universities under the Cuba-Jamaica Medical Scholarship Programme. Additionally, he said that over 160 Cubans are currently providing services, especially in the health and educational fields, under the Cuba-Jamaica bilateral cooperation programmes.

“In Kingston, the Jamaica-Cuba Eye Care Centre has performed over 1,900 surgeries since it was opened last year,” he said.

Director of the Scholarship and Assistance Unit at the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Halican Gallimore, expressed thanks to the Government of Cuba for the continued support in building Jamaica’s human resources.

“It is recognised that country such as ours, similarly challenged by adverse global conditions, can work together (and) much can be achieved,” she added.


By E. HARTMAN RECKORD, JIS Information Officer

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