Hideliza Samper Muarrak, a life of service to children

Hideliza Samper Muarrak, a life of service to children
Fecha de publicación: 
25 December 2021
Imagen principal: 

“I am a crybaby,” she says, overwhelmed by emotions and memories which always moisten her eyes, a sign of how sensitive this experienced pediatrician is.

The Labor Achievement Medal and a distinction for being an International Aid Worker that she received on Latin American Medicine Day mark one of those moments, because she holds she has never done anything in return for recognition, but to save the children of the world.

Hideliza Samper Muarrak, Second Degree Specialist in Pediatrics and Master in integral attention to children does not only belong to her native land—the province of Ciego de Ávila—but also to the five countries where she has displayed her devotion to and love for the little ones.

As a member of the “Henry Reeve” International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disasters and Serious Epidemics, she treasures anecdotes of pain and joy, which confirm the wisdom of choosing a career that demands so much tenderness.

She recalls her first mission in Haiti, in the midst of a cholera epidemic. “To this day, nothing has equaled those terrible days of countless deaths. I can’t help crying when I remember the suffering of the population, the long hours with the patients, the efforts to save lives and the impact of a reality totally different to that of Cuba,” she remarked.

“We arrived in Haiti at 11:00 p.m. We went to a place on a mountainside, near the Dominican border,” she added. “At dawn Fidel was already calling, worried about the deaths and giving us instructions to set up a children's ward in the middle of the chaotic situation of a general hospital. We got on with body and soul, working full time to try and save them, but were coping with much more than just cholera.”

The pediatrician, with more than 30 years dedicated to medicine, is moved as she describes how she treated children with AIDS with very deteriorated health and a little boy who had lost a kidney to organ trafficking.

However, there were also moments of joy, such as the birth of a baby girl in perfect condition, whom they named Celia, even though her mother had cholera, because there is no greater happiness for a pediatrician than to bring healthy babies into the world, she emphasizes.
After Haiti came new missions: Venezuela, Bolivia—where she lived through days of great tension during the coup d'état against President Evo Morales—the United Arab Emirates, and Mexico.

Back in Cuba, she went to a field hospital to join the fight against an aggressive COVID-19 outbreak in her province, and except for a few cases had to go into therapy, “all patients had a happy ending and nobody died”.

Reflecting on her experience, she stresses that when you live under capitalism you suffer a lot from the medical point of view, because medicine is a business, and even in a rich country you see many social groups living in poverty and unable to afford the price of medical care.

She is pleased to count on the support of her family, her 31-year-old twins and her husband, as well as on her friends, co-workers and neighbors, something essential to practice her profession both in Cuba and elsewhere.

Today, as she prepares to leave for another international mission, she reasserts her revolutionary principles and her pride in what the Cuban state is doing to protect the health and future of our children.

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.