Uruguay has started its first joint health cooperation with Mozambique, aiding in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in the Central Hospital in Maputo, the capital. The three-year joint venture with Portugal will enable doctors to treat cancer patients more effectively.
The partnership between Portugual and Uruguay will include sharing knowledge from Portuguese hospitals and Maciel Hospital in Montevideo, Uruguay, with the Central Hospital of Maputo.
Uruguayan officials will spend three days at the Central Hospital to define exactly what is needed to begin setting up a training schedule for equipment and diagnostics.
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There are many similarities between the Uruguayan and Mozambiquan hospital systems says Andrea Vignolo, the director of the Uruguayan Agency for International Cooperation.
“The reality of Maciel, a public hospital in Uruguay, is that it has a lot in common with the hospital in Maputo,” Vignolo told RFI.
“The dialogue, the needs, the changes, the strategies that the hospital's medical team had to make are much closer to those of the daily life in the Maputo hospital,” she adds.
The first cooperation phase was scheduled to start last April, but the Central Hospital delayed the program because they were dealing with medical emergencies brought on by Cyclone Idai, which devastated parts of the country.
The program signifies the first cooperative efforts between Mozambique, a lusophone country, and Spanish-speaking Uruguay, says Vignolo.
“We saw how this knowledge that Uruguay had acquired could be transferred to other countries of equal or lesser development. Uruguay is not really known on a continent like Africa,” she says.
Uruguay also hopes not only to teach in Mozambique, but to learn from this interaction too, as a mutually beneficial partnership.
“When we start talking, you get to know the administrative, legal and social reality of another country, and you learn,” says Vignolo.
Ultimately, the partnership is not surprising as it first seems -- Uruguay's President Tabare Vazquez is an oncologist himself.