Spanish parish collects medicine to send to Cuba

Cuba protets Fernando Medina/Shutterstock

A parish in metropolitan Valencia is preparing shipments of medicine to Cuba thanks to the generosity of hundreds of people who want to help alleviate the severe shortage on the Caribbean island.

Fr. Olbier Hernández, a Cuban priest of the Archdiocese of Valencia, has organized a humanitarian aid campaign for Cuba to help meet the need. 

The priest is pastor of San Miguel de Soternes parish in Mislata, part of metro Valencia. He is seeking "donations of medicine, masks, gowns and syringes, financial contributions and also suitcases, since that way we don't have to buy them, and can use that money to buy medicine."

"Antibiotics, blood pressure medications” are also needed but "you can donate personal hygiene items and cans of non-perishable food."

"We continue to collect medicine and donations in the parish, and we are also asking pharmacies, their owners or friends to collaborate,” the priest explained on the archdiocesan website.

“The situation in Cuba remains critical, especially in the central and eastern part of the country, where less humanitarian aid arrives,” he added.

At present, due to restrictions in Cuba, the only way to get medicine and humanitarian aid is in the luggage of passengers, since shipping by boat or plane is not allowed.

Once the items are collected, arranged, and packed, they are asking travelers who plan to fly to the Caribbean island from Madrid or Valencia to transport the packages and deliver them to families, priests, and doctors who are working with them.

"We’ll pay for the excess weight of these suitcases," Fr. Hernández said, and called on all the parishes of the archdiocese to help out by “appealing to their parishioners to donate medicines and send them to us or contact us to come and get them. It’s not necessary to classify them because we have the help of Cuban doctors living in Valencia who are working with us to  label and classify the medicines.”

"Any help is needed now as the situation there is very serious, and so we’re appealing to the solidarity of Valencians to not forget the Cuban people.”

Fr. Hernández said this campaign "doesn’t have an end date at the moment; it will last until the end of the year and after December we’ll see what the situation is like and if we can continue to send suitcases with medicine."

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