India announced on Sunday the donation of 12,500 doses of pentavalent vaccines to Cuba.
It is pertinent to note that the pentavalent vaccine provides protection to a child from five life-threatening diseases: – Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Hepatitis B and Hib.
The decision was taken in the backdrop of Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi’s official visit to Cuba from January 12 to January 14.
Notably, the Minister’s bilateral visit focused on the entire gamut of bilateral cooperation shared between the two friendly countries. During her maiden visit to Cuba, the Minister of State for External Affairs also participated in several of the significant bilateral meetings with top Cuban authorities and discussed matters pertaining to mutual interests.
According to the statement by the Ministry of External Affairs, the Minister kicked off her visit by paying tribute to Jose Marti at his monument at 3 Marzo Park in Havana. Later, accompanied by Minister of Culture of the Republic of Cuba Alpidio Alonso Grau, MOS paid floral tribute at the bust of Mahatma Gandhi in Havana.
During her visit to Cuba, the Minister also held a meeting with President Miguel Díaz-Canel and held discussions on several important issues, including political and economic cooperation between the two nations.
Speaking of her meeting with the Cuban President, Lekhi said, “Glad to call on H.E. Miguel Diaz- Canel Bermudez, President of Cuba and discuss with him the entire gamut of cooperation between our two friendly countries.”
The leaders also held discussion over the potential to continue expanding bilateral cooperation in the fields of renewable energy sources, agriculture, health, biotechnology, education, and culture.
Apart from the meeting with the Cuban President, the Minister also met with Speaker of the Cuban Parliament Esteban Lazo Hernández, Acting Minister of External Relations Gerardo Peñalver Portal, and Cuban Minister of Culture Alpidio Alonso Grau and held discussions on various issues.
In talks with the Speaker of the Cuban Parliament, the discussion included the development of indigenous vaccines against COVID and woman empowerment.
“MOS (ML) apprised H.E. Mr. Esteban Lazo Hernández about policies of the Government of India and emphasized on the need to further strengthen cooperation between the two parliaments. H.E. Mr. Esteban Lazo Hernández appreciated India’s support for Cuba at the United Nations, Indian assisted projects and LOC and in training Cuban nationals under ITEC, among others subjects,” the MEA added.
Further, a detailed discussion over the Indian government’s initiatives, including LiFE, CDRI, International Year of Millets 2023, sustainability & climate change have been raised during the MoS MEA’s meeting with the Acting Minister of External Relations of Cuba.
Both sides also discussed issues of common interest and expressed readiness to enhance cooperation in development assistance programmes, trade and investment, energy, disaster management, culture, health and pharma, AYUSH, and biotechnology.
The MoS MEA also held bilateral discussions with Alpidio Alonso Grau, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Cuba. Further, a consensus has been reached to strengthen the India-Cuba partnership in the field of culture with increased exchanges and cooperation, including in cinema.
“MOS (ML) also visited Fidel Castro Centre in Havana and ‘panchakarma centre’ in the premises of International health Centre (La Pradera) that was set up in association with AYUSH Ministry where she held interactions with the Director of La Pradera and practioners of Ayurveda,” MEA added.