By Tosin Kolade
Abuja – Human Rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, on Monday urged the Federal Government to seek the assistance of Cuba to halt malaria epidemic in the country.
Falana made the call on the sidelines of the 6th Nigeria Movement of Solidarity with Cuba Meeting in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that there have been solidarity by African countries, against the United States blockade of Cuba and for the Cuban people’s right to self-determination and sovereignty.
Falana said Nigeria ought to draw lessons from Cuba as it had abolished malaria since 1967, eliminating the death burden of the scourge.
“The greatest killer of people apart from poverty is malaria, while the western countries insist that we must buy mosquito nets, today we must decide, that we are going to ask Cuba to come to Africa to eliminate malaria, not control malaria.
“Since 1967, when Cuba abolished malaria, nobody has died of malaria in that country.
“However, in a tropical country like our own, in fact, if you travel to Cuba today and you are found to be having malaria, you will be quarantined and treated like Ebola.
” Every ward in Cuba like our own, has a clinic, why we go to other countries to die, because our own health facilities have collapsed.
“Cuba is ahead of the west in many areas of medicine, including cancer, can you believe that America in spite of the blockade is currently collaborating with Cuba to put an end to the danger that cancer has constituted to the entire world,” he siad.
He noted that during the Ebola crisis, Cuba singlehandedly sent a plane of 400 doctors and other medical personnel to Nigeria, saying the gesture was a rare act which should not be forgotten.
“Cuba has displayed internationalism more than any country on earth, while imperialist nations go around the world, killing people in their thousands, Cuba goes around saving lives by sending medical doctors.
“It’s not enough to praise and thank Cuba, we must learn to draw lessons from Cuba, lessons of dignity, self reliance and self determination to run Africa in the interest of African people.
” That is the greatest lesson this small country of 11.3 million people have showed the world that it is not how many you are that matters.
“It is not your oil gas or gold that matters. Cuba has only sugarcane and tobacco, yet, that is one of the greatest countries on earth,” Falana said.
NAN reports that the Nigeria Movement of Solidarity with Cuba, comprises labour organisations such as the Nigerian Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress, and coalition of other popular groups and women organisations.