Cholera in Cuba
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Holguin Starts the School Year in the Midst of a Complex Epidemiological Situation

Holguin Starts the School Year in the Midst of a Complex Epidemiological
Situation / 14ymedio, Donate Fernando Ochoa
Posted on September 1, 2015

14ymedio, Fernando Donate Ochoa, Holguin, 1 September 2015 — The
beginning of the school year in Holguin has been complicated this early
September by the complex epidemiological context facing the region
because of the outbreaks of dengue fever and cholera. The city is
experiencing a declared health emergency, but authorities say they have
taken all sanitary measures in order to prevent the spread of diseases
in schools.

In junior high schools the school snack has temporarily been suspended,
an offering that consisted of yogurt and bread with mortadella passed
out free in the schools.

For this reason, the class schedule at this level now runs from 8:00 to
10:00 in the morning, with an afternoon session from 2:00 to 5:00,
according to Claribel Casamayor, an English teacher at the Panchito
Gomez Toro school.

Students at Celia Sanchez University are also beginning the year
atypically. The vice rector, Liuska Bao Pavon, in a special program of
the Radio Angulo station, informed those students that the dormitories
are not available because they are being used as a field hospital for
patients suffering from dengue fever. For now, the students are
attending classes on adjusted hours at other universities in the
provincial capital city.

The situation becomes more complicated at the primary level, according
to Ricardo Ramirez, municipal deputy director of Education for Holguin.
His students, between 6 and 11 years of age, are studying at centers
that are severely deteriorated due to the age of the buildings and the
lack of repairs. Ramirez told the local station Telecristal that of the
252 schools in the city, 130 began classes with seriously damaged
plumbing and he did not rule out that some schools would remain
permanently closed for lack of optimal sanitary conditions. In those
cases, the students would be relocated to other schools.

These statements have contributed to keeping people in a state of fear.
Maritza Avila, mother of a seven-year-old boy, Pedro Enrique Tamayo, who
started first grade at the Julio Grave de Peralta primary school,
confessed that she feared for the health of her son as the school is in
an advanced state of deterioration in both its construction and plumbing.

Yaser Quintana, a math teacher at Rafael Freyre elementary school, notes
that the school year has also been affected by the fact that many
children and teenagers have been admitted to hospitals for cholera and
dengue fever.

The health problems are compounded by a shortage of 1,205 teachers, 444
of them in the provincial capital city. Among the measures announced by
the authorities to solve this problem is the reinstatement of retired
teachers, contracting with students at Oscar Lucero Moya University and
with graduates of the basic course at José de la Luz y Caballero
Teaching University as well as with recent graduates of the University
of Information Sciences.

Source: Holguin Starts the School Year in the Midst of a Complex
Epidemiological Situation / 14ymedio, Donate Fernando Ochoa |
Translating Cuba –

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