There’s a tremendous “brain drain” from Africa and the Caribbean. Skilled professionals, especially in the health field, are streaming to America and Europe. Doctors and nurses, even in countries where the health crisis is staggering, as economies worsen, are coming to the West in droves. Their leaving further harms these economies in a deadly spiral.   

Cuba, however, is moving in the opposite direction. Hundreds of Cuban health professionals are hard at work, free of charge, in a number of African nations. International aid organizations such as Doctors Without Borders are also providing free and consistent medical assistance. A number of African American and Caribbean American health associations regularly send doctors, nurses and dentists to work, free of charge, to meet the health needs of Africans in the Motherland and throughout the Diaspora.

No discussion of African health would be complete without considering mental health. Doubtless, the pressures Africans face worldwide have driven many over the brink. But of far more importance is the broad impact on Africans of outside control of their education, information and entertainment.             

For example, after generations of no information and misinformation about Africa , the current crises that face the continent are “presented” so as to make things seem absolutely hopeless, turning people away from the type of individual and concerted efforts that can, and are, making great strides.           

Once the mind is controlled the spirit can be broken and health, physical and mental, easily destroyed. It is absolutely essential that we share information about our history and our cultures and especially that we publicize, encourage and participate in the determined efforts we are making to help ourselves. The bottom line is, yes, Africa and Africans, wherever we are found, are in a struggle for survival. But that’s been the case, in one form or another, for 400 years. And whereas others might have long ago been broken and wiped out, we are still here. WE ARE STILL HERE.

(from Africa Is Not A Country: It’s A Continent, by Dr. Arthur Lewin, )