Graduation of Nelson Mandela/Fidel Castro Medical Collaboration students

05 Jul 2023
NMFC Graduation
05 Jul 2023

The University of Cape Town (UCT) will host the graduation ceremony of the Nelson Mandela/Fidel Castro (NMFC) Medical Collaboration Programme this year. Delegates from Cuba and the National Department of Health will also be in attendance. The graduation ceremony is preceded by a two-day Joint Academic Meeting (JAM) of Deans from South African and Cuban Medical Schools, led by Deputy Minister of Health Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, on Wednesday, 5 July and Thursday, 6 July 2023.

The NMFC programme was established by presidents Nelson Mandela and Fidel Castro in 1996 as part of the various bilateral agreements between South Africa and Cuba. The programme was established to address the over-concentration of health personnel in urban areas and in the exclusionary private sector; insufficient personnel who were also not in possession of the necessary training and the under-provision of health care in rural and peri-urban areas, as well as informal settlements.

Medical students who completed their studies through the NMFC Medical Collaboration Programme, are required to follow an 18-months integration programme into local universities. The Faculty of Health Sciences facilitated the clinical training and re-integration for 18 of these graduates. This year about 450 medical students are expected to graduate, after which they will be placed in various public health facilities across the country, primarily in historically disadvantaged communities and under-served areas.