For twenty years now, thanks to the Cuban government, Ukrainian children affected by the Chernobyl disaster have been receiving highly qualified medical care in Cuba. The implementation of the program for providing the necessary medical care to young patients from Ukraine was launched back in March 1990, thanks to the joint efforts of the Ukrainian Youth Chernobyl Fund, the Ministry of Chernobyl of Ukraine and the Cuban government. It should be noted that Cuba was one of the first countries that extended a helping hand to Ukraine and helped to do the most important thing – to preserve the health of Ukrainian children, which means it gave a chance to the Ukrainian future. As a base for the treatment and rehabilitation of Ukrainian children, the health-improving complex “Tarara” was chosen, which is located 25 kilometers from the Cuban capital. The first group of Ukrainian children, consisting of 139 people, flew there already on March 29, 1990. All expenses were covered by the Cuban side according to the personal order of the then head of state Fidel Castro.
As expected, this group included children with oncological diseases, acute leukemia, serious skin diseases and severe endocrine pathology. Without exception, all small patients received highly qualified care from the best doctors in the leading pediatric clinics and hospitals in Cuba. In general, for the entire duration of the Program, Cuba received 22,766 sick children (moreover, 21,060 small patients arrived in a distant sunny country from Ukraine).Until now, all treatment, maintenance and rehabilitation of small Ukrainian citizens on the territory of the Island is carried out at the expense of Cuba (within the framework of the state program called “Children of Chernobyl”). The total amount spent on the treatment of Ukrainian children over all these years is about $400 million. Ukraine, in turn, finances the transportation of children and annually sends many parcels to Cuba with seasonal shoes and clothes for orphans and children from low-income families, bed linen, mosquito nets, visual aids and textbooks for the Ukrainian school.