Fuente: Collaborators of the Cuban Medical Brigade in Gambia
For almost six decades Cuba has sent its brave peaceful soldiers in white coats around the world, they carry in their hands not sophisticated weapons, but a stethoscope, and in their luggage love and wisdom to defeat disease, as well as consecration, altruism and hope, leaving an indelible mark of generosity and humanity wherever they go. The radiant Caribbean island every day gives new lessons in courage and solidarity. In the midst of this unprecedented pandemic in modern history, there is a Cuban mission formed by a group of brave warriors who for more than 20 years have been working with dignity and with all dedication for the well-being and health of the Gambian people, and today they continue to provide life and snatch many human beings from death. In Biwan, one of the regions of this West African nation, works Dr. Daylis Sánchez Villafañes, a second-degree specialist in Comprehensive General Medicine and head of the Cuban brigade there. The young doctor with her daily work and her humanistic vocation as a Cuban Creole and patriot woman has just saved one more life in the Gambia. Last Tuesday, during his shift in the afternoon at the Bwian Hospital, he treated a 7-year-old boy in the observation room of the OPD, who was brought by his mother, reporting that he had been in pain for 3 days. intense head and persistent fever. In the observation service, she had three generalized seizures, practically followed one by another, then she continued to deteriorate in consciousness and fell into a coma. When the doctor was assisting her, the mother received a phone call with the sad news that her other 11-year-old son, who had been left at home with a fever, headache and vomiting, had died. In the physical examination of the 7-year-old patient, she found pale and damp mucous membranes, sweaty skin, body temperature above 40 degrees, significant neck stiffness, and after the last seizure he remains in a coma with a Glasgow scale of 6/15. Hematological studies were performed in the laboratory, resulting in low hemoglobin and a positive thick blood film (Blood film +++). As the hospital did not have an intensive care ward, she was admitted to the pediatric service with a diagnosis of severe Cerebral Malaria and mild anemia. Treatment with parenteral broad-spectrum antibiotics, anti-cerebral edema, oral anti-anemic measures, vitamin therapy, antipyretics, anticonvulsants and others were applied to counteract hypoglycemia and maintain life support. As the antimalarial drug of choice, Artesunate was prescribed intravenously in three doses at 0 hours, 12 hours and 24 hours, then continued with a daily dose for 5 more days. The child was admitted under the guardianship of her grandmother due to the family novelty with her brother. At 48 hours of his hospital stay, a positive response of the infant to the treatment began to be observed, regaining consciousness and partially his appetite, he did not present any more seizures, but the nuchal stiffness and general weakness persisted that is overcome with the passing of days . Thanks to the skill of the doctor, the precise diagnosis and an accurate treatment, after 7 days of medication and care, the little man was discharged with oral treatment at home, and the re-consultation was scheduled. The grandmother expressed, despite language limitations, evident expressions of gratitude and full satisfaction with the care received. Countless cases like these are those carried out by Cuban doctors in all parts of the world, which make them truly deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize, although their greatest recognition is the admiration of all the peoples who have benefited from that noble and human labor.
By: MSc. María Inés Álvarez Garay, and Dr. Daylis Sánchez Villafañes (*)