Cuba highlights importance of child immunization

The Cuban Minister of Public Health, Jose Angel Portal, reminded today in a message on the social network Twitter that Cuban children are protected by '11 vaccines, of which eight are of national production.'

Portal recalled in his tweet that on February 12, 1804, doctor Tomas Romay Chacon injected his two children against smallpox and began vaccination on the Caribbean island, a process by which infants are immunized against 13 diseases. In Cuba, the National Immunization Program (PIN) is accessible to the entire population, free of charge, guaranteed in the first level of vaccination and complemented by school vaccination.

As a result, Cuba has eliminated six immune-preventable diseases: polio (1962), diphtheria (1979), measles (1993), rubella (1995), mumps (1995) and whooping cough (1997).

Other conditions have been controlled at rates below 0.1 per million population, such as tetanus, haemophilus influenza type b, meningococcal meningitis, hepatitis b and typhoid.

Tomas Romay's decision not only promoted smallpox vaccine in the country, but it was also a first step that later, in 1962, after the polio campaign, made it possible to set up the vaccination program, one of the pillars of the Cuban health system.

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Cuba without cases of coronavirus, health checks reinforced

There are no cases of coronavirus in Cuba and border health checks are reinforced, the National Director of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP), Francisco Duran, reported here today.

No cases have been reported in our country and there are no suspicions and no people under any supervision, said the official.

After making a balance in a press conference of what happens with this disease originated in the province of Wuhan in China, the specialist explained that the island is stepping up checks at the different international borders: ports, airports and marinas.

There are protocols for health checks and adequate surveillance is maintained for all persons arriving in the country, as well as the general declaration of health of the ship at first, and the traveler's declaration of health.

He also recalled the indications of the World Health Organization (WHO), which for now does not declare the disease as a global health emergency. This could change and we have to be on the alert, he stressed.

At the same time, Cuba developed a plan to face a possible proliferation of the disease, which includes the participation of all organizations, he explained.

Originated in China, according to official sources, more than 2,000 people have been infected and 80 deaths have already been reported.

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Latin American Medicine Day: Health for Everyone

On December 3, the Latin American Medicine Day *, it’s necessary to make a brief summary of Cuba's solidarity in health, a principle the Revolution put into practice since its early days. Let’s recall the aid to Chile, when the earthquake of 1960 hit, and the arrival in Algeria with a small group of professionals in 1962.

Since then, this small island is an example in medical assistance to other nations, not just providing humanitarian aid, at key moments of natural disasters, or outbreaks, but in the building of hospitals, training of professionals and teachers of different specialties.

During these years, solidarity in this field has been present in 164 countries and today it’s kept in more than 60 countries with about 30 thousand employees.

The support given to Africa in 2014 was an unprecedented event. Back then the continent was hit by a severe cholera epidemic and, in response to the call of the UN and the World Health Organization, the Cuban government sent a contingent of 250 specialists to several countries, where the threat of infection and death were real.

An element that contributed a lot to the collaboration has been the International
Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics Henry Reeve, constituted on September 19th, 2005 by the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro. Henry Reeves Contingent has been present in 21 countries with 24 medical brigades.

In this battle for health, the Miracle Mission, an ophthalmological program, led by the governments of Cuba and Venezuela which in its 15 years has treated almost 4 million patients in 16 countries, at present only 10 remains.

Domestically, Cuba has created an infrastructure to guarantee public health, with strong support for the primary care with the implementation - since January 1984 - of the Family Doctor-and-Nurse Program, with the objective of attending to people, families and communities.

The Family Doctor-and-Nurse Program, even with imperfections, has had a favorable impact on health indicators of Cubans.

This has allowed to guarantee a total coverage of health care, with a total of 10,869 Doctor-and-Nurse offices, and 449 polyclinics.

Although not all goals have been achieved regarding this Program, the Ministry of Public Health has currently implemented a plan for its improvement, and is worth mentioning that in more than three decades it has played a key role in the improvement of health of the population.

Cuba allots the 27% of its budget to Health and Social Assistance, and around 11% of its GDP. Therefore, its figures behave similarly to developed countries.

In Cuba 14 infectious diseases have been eliminated; the infant mortality rate remains below five deaths under one year per thousand live births, and life expectancy at birth is 78, 45 years in general: 80 years for women and 76 for men.

The country has 84.8 doctors and 16.8 dentists for every 10 thousand inhabitants.

The National Health System comprises 150 hospitals, 110 IC wards, 120 municipal intensive wards, 449 polyclinics, 111 dentist clinics, 131 maternity homes, 12 research institutes, 690 medical libraries, 155 nursing homes, 293 elder homes, 52 geriatric services, and 30 psychopedagogical medical centers.

Such data are a pride; unthinkable achievements before 1959, which have only been possible through the political will of our sovereign State. For all the above mentioned, the country has enough reasons to celebrate the Latin American Medicine Day, not with slogans, but with tangible results.

The political will of the Cuban State and, especially, of its historical leader Fidel Castro Ruz, have made these achievements of our public health possible, an example for many regions of the planet.

* Date established in honor of the birth of the renowned Cuban scientist Dr. Carlos Juan Finlay, who discovered that yellow fever was transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. His example is a beacon for those who just like him, devote their lives to research, to fight diseases, and to make medical care a daily right.

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Cuba will Host the Organ Donor Day

It’s emphasized the importance of raising public awareness in order to understand that the salvation of millions of people depends on their own actions.

On November 21st, Cuba will be the world headquarters for the activities on the World Day for the Donation of Organs, Tissues and Transplants, as the climax for the meeting of the Ibero-American Network of Donation and Transplantation, scheduled for November 18-20 with venue at the International Health Center La Pradera.

Nephrology specialist Antonio Enamorado Casanova, national coordinator of the Transplant Program of the Ministry of Public Health, said that representatives from 38 countries will participate in this meeting, in addition to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

World Organ, Tissue and Transplant Donation Day * seeks to raise awareness and draw attention to the need to donate organs and tissues, as millions of people in the world depend on such a procedure to save their lives.

The specialist insisted on the importance of raising public awareness about this topic, which goes beyond the political will of the States and actions of health systems, and doctors.

He commented that our country has a high level of education, which might be useful in order for citizens to understand that it’s them the only ones who can influence the solution of health problems and increase the quality of life of patients.

«We could have a lot of money, millions; well-trained doctors, studied, and being in hospitals looking at our faces, if society does not contribute to the solution of the problem ».

He criticized the position and ignorance regarding this matter, because, despite the fact that Cuba has been doing transplants for many years, the population is not educated as to the importance of donating the organs.

He informed that at present in the country (both children and adults) there are more than 3,000 patients connected to dialysis machines, waiting for a kidney to be transplanted; hundreds of patients waiting for a cornea; dozens waiting for a liver.

Cuba, in 1972, registered the first kidney transplant, a program that has been on at the Institute of Nephrology. And in the mid 80’s, the first heart transplant was done.

So far this year about 185 kidney transplants, 180 cornea, 10 liver, 1 heart and 40 bone marrow transplants have been carried out.

«The need quadruples or quintuples what we do today. However, the main limitation is not economic, but the availability of organs,”he emphasized.

Undoubtedly, it’s a complex issue that has many viewpoints. It’s essential to understand the subject and the sensitivity of making a call, even in the most difficult moments, when facing the loss of a relative.

* On October 14 each year, since 2005, the World Organ, Tissue and Transplant Donation Day is commemorated. This date was established by WHO, with the purpose of encouraging the desire to be donors and thus save the lives of other less fortunate people in regards to physical health.

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Foreign Minister ratifies Cuba's commitment to health and environment

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez reaffirmed his country's commitment to social welfare and environmental protection as part of the high-level meeting on universal health coverage at the UN.

"Cuba present at #UNGA74. We will reaffirm our commitment to #HealthForAll, #ClimateAction and efforts to advance towards a democratic, just and equitable international order that responds to the demand for peace, sovereignty and sustainable development of our people," Rodriguez stressed on Twitter.

Ana Silvia Rodriguez, Alternate Permanent Representative of Cuba to the UN, confirmed also that during the meeting the Cuban delegation will discuss Cuba's achievements in the area and cooperation despite the blockade imposed by the US government on this Caribbean country.

The Cuban FM arrived in New York on Saturday to participate in the high-level segment of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, according to Cubaminrex website.

The Cuban delegation is also represented by the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anayansi Rodriguez; the General Director of the United States department, Carlos Fernandez de Cossio; and other officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Permanent Mission of Cuba to the UN.

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"As is always the case with Cuban cooperators in other parts of the world, in the face of these disasters, everyone will [also] contribute their efforts in the recovery stage."

Cuba’s government confirmed on Wednesday that they have sent a number of doctors and teachers to areas of the Bahamas which have been hit by Hurricane Dorian. The Cuban workers will assist local authorities in emergency relief, though they will also stay afterwards to help rebuild the country’s medical and education services in the affected areas.

Cuba’s ambassador to the Bahamas Ismara Vargas spoke to Prensa Latina on Wednesday, confirming that over 60 Cuban workers have been sent to the Bahamas so far. They have been sent to Abaco and Grand Bahama, the areas of the country that have been hit hardest by Hurricane Dorian.

Vargas commented, "as is always the case with Cuban cooperators in other parts of the world, in the face of these disasters, everyone will [also] contribute their efforts in the recovery stage."

Cuban Medical internationalism is a legacy of the revolution. Huge numbers of doctors are sent abroad to work across the global south, offering medical services to low income and isolated communities around the world.

Those doctors and teachers will face a tough challenge in the Bahamas. Hurricane Dorian has devastated the Caribbean, and is the worst storm the Bahamas has had to face. The death toll is currently at 7, with as many as 13,000 homes in the country now destroyed or severely damaged, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Dorian is expected to reach the U.S. where huge evacuation operations have begun.

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Experts from 16 Countries in Obstetrics and Gynecology Event in Cuba

Some 130 specialists from 16 countries in Latin America, Europe and the United States will participate in the 17th Congress of the Cuban Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology, June 18-21, the event hosts reported in Havan Tuesday.

The event will gather gynecologists, obstetricians, endocrinologists, intensivists and other experts from countries such as Panama, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Spain and Greece, as well as more than 200 Cuban doctors.

It will include a course on the medical and legal aspects of obstetrics and gynecology, as part of a project of good practices for the prevention of legal complaints and lawsuits, Andres Breto, President of the organizing committee, said in a press conference.

U.S. professors such as Ted Louis Anderson, current president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and Mark DeFrancesco, who held the presidency of this college from 2015 to 2016 will prestige the congress.

Topics such as sexual and reproductive health, attention to infertile couples and current diagnostic issues will be the focus of discussions at the forum.

The congress is hosted by the Latin American Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology Societies, the Pan American Health Organization, the United Nations Children's Fund and the Cuban Society for Family Development, among other institutions.

Other congresses will be held in parallel to this forum, such as the 10th Congress on Perinatology and Family Planning, the 7th Congress on Child and Adolescent Reproductive Health, the 7th Congress on Climacterium and Menopause, as well as the 7th Congress on Ultrasonography in Gynecology and Obstetrics and the 6th Congress on Pathology of the Lower Genital Tract and Colposcopy.

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Russia, Cuba Sign Cooperation MoU on Health

Russia and Cuba have signed a memorandum of cooperation on health to treat cancer patients, sources from the Russian National Medical Research Radiological Center reported on Friday.

Cuban Deputy Minister Marcia Cobas Ruiz and General Director of the Russian National Medical Research Radiological Center of the Ministry of Health and Russian chief oncologist, Andrei Kaprin, signed the aforementioned document.

The objective of the memorandum is to develop scientific and clinical cooperation in fighting oncological diseases.

The document also seeks to carry out joint programs with the aim of strengthening and developing state-of-the-art technologies to treat cancer patients, exchanging scientific and clinical experience, as well as carrying out joint research.


Spread of cancer is worrisome for everyone and therefore collaboration among doctors should have no political nor any other kind of limitations, Kaprin said, quoted by Moscow television.

Our institutions have now extensive experience in the diagnosis, treatment and research of malignant tumors and I am sure that cooperation in this area will have productive results, the Russian specialist said.

Russia and Cuba are currently expanding and reinforcing cooperation in almost all possible branches, including economic, commercial, agricultural, transport, energy, mining, health, scientific and cultural, among others.

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