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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Happy childhood memories linked to better health later in life

People who have fond memories of childhood, specifically their relationships with their parents, tend to have better health, less depression and fewer chronic illnesses as older adults, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

"We know that memory plays a huge part in how we make sense of the world -- how we organize our past experiences and how we judge how we should act in the future. As a result, there are a lot of different ways that our memories of the past can guide us," said William J. Chopik, PhD, from Michigan State University and lead author of the study. "We found that good memories seem to have a positive effect on health and well-being, possibly through the ways that they reduce stress or help us maintain healthy choices in life."

The findings were published in the journal Health Psychology.

Previous research has shown a positive relationship between good memories and good health in young adults, including higher quality of work and personal relationships, lower substance use, lower depression and fewer health problems, according to Chopik. He and his co-author, Robin Edelstein, PhD, from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, wanted to see how this would apply to older adults.

Also, much of the existing research focused on mothers and rarely examined the role of fathers in child development. Chopik and Edelstein sought to expand on the existing studies to include participants' reflections of their relationships with both parents.

The researchers used data from two nationally representative samples, the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States and the Health and Retirement Study, with a total of more than 22,000 participants. The first study followed adults in their mid-40s for 18 years and the second followed adults 50 and over for six years. The surveys included questions about perceptions of parental affection, overall health, chronic conditions and depressive symptoms.

Participants in both groups who reported remembering higher levels of affection from their mothers in early childhood experienced better physical health and fewer depressive symptoms later in life. Those who reported memories with more support from their fathers also experienced fewer depressive symptoms, according to Chopik.

"The most surprising finding was that we thought the effects would fade over time because participants were trying to recall things that happened sometimes over 50 years ago. One might expect childhood memories to matter less and less over time, but these memories still predicted better physical and mental health when people were in middle age and older adulthood," said Chopik.

There was a stronger association in people who reported a more loving relationship with their mothers, noted Chopik, but that might change.

"These results may reflect the broader cultural circumstances of the time when the participants were raised because mothers were most likely the primary caregivers," said Edelstein. "With shifting cultural norms about the role of fathers in caregiving, it is possible that results from future studies of people born in more recent years will focus more on relationships with their fathers."

Chopik and Edelstein found that participants with positive childhood memories also had fewer chronic conditions in the first study of 7,100 people, but not in the second study of 15,200, making the results less straightforward

That may be because chronic conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disease and high blood pressure were rare in both samples, said Chopik. Future studies in this area could focus more closely on childhood memories in older adults with chronic conditions.

Story Source:

Materials provided by American Psychological Association. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

With Life On the Shoulder

Come hell or high water, nameless and committed crews travel the cities every day distributing door-to-door of patients oxygen bottles that guarantee their lives.

It doesn't matter if it’s raining or overcasted, neither if there’s no electricity and they have to climb six flight of dark stairs; anyway, they will be there every day with the oxygen bottles on the shoulder.

After getting around those and other obstacles like mad dogs or shattered stair steps, they will call punctual to the house where a Cuban awaits for the oxygen that will allow him to keep living.

Eduardo Mario Blasco, driver of the crew, explains that they work under the Company of Industrial Gases, but it’s MINSAP the one that hands down the list of patients.

The fleet of almost 15 or 20 trucks has its base in Guanabacoa and, after the daily meeting, they depart to distribute life. “We go around the entire Havana city and also Mayabeque, Artemisa, and Güines."

Every day we distribute a rate of 40 large bottles, "but there are days of 60 and 70. We have odd hours either early morning or night time. I have had back-to-back days because the truck broke."

Eduardo Mario has worked in this for six years, before that he was a truck driver for 30 years. On board the truck prepared to transport the large bottles also go two young loaders.

"There aren’t Saturdays neither Sundays in this job, journalist. This is really a matter of life or death; if you don’t change an empty bottle for a full one, simply the sick person can die".

Says Danilo González, 27 years old, loader.

“It’s true that sometimes one feels like staying asleep, of not getting wet by rain, or of not climbing those stairways with more than a hundred pounds on shoulders. But it’s a humanitarian matter, one understands well when looking at the situation of other people who are waiting for you".

- Have there been cases where a relationship of friendship is created?

- Almost all of them. We call them through our mobiles, paying us, to know if we can stop by, if the door is locked; because the bottle must be set next to the patient ‘s bed.

- How many stairs do you climb daily?

- Countless because most of our patients live in Plaza, Centro Habana and Habana Vieja municipalities, where there are plenty of tall buildings. If we have five houses at ground level in the deliveries, that is a win. Everything is upstairs , downstairs five or six floors, because there aren’t many elevators.

- What do you friends tell you about your work?

- They simply stay silent. They know I am a loader, but they don’t imagine the real work I do. Those who see me on the street might think what’s so hard about getting carried around on a truck, but it’s not like that. It’s hard, besides the physical effort, you encounter sad stories, and also the treatment of a few patients.

Although, regularly, tight relationships are created, almost of familiarity. There are always, of course says the loader, those who protest when you deliver the oxygen bottle very early and they wanted to sleep later into the morning.

"Sometimes – says Danilo - we have arrived late at night at a house because the truck broke and when you finally arrive at the place, after such ordeals, they yell at you and complain, they tell you "are these hours to bring the oxygen, you must wait until tomorrow... nobody will wake up at this hour”.

"One can get mad at hearing those words, but you must think it over and tell yourself that is part of the job, where you care about other people, but they don’t always care about us."

Luckily, situations like this one are numbered with one hand.

The truck driver remembers that " we have cases where hot coffee and cool water are plentiful. One build friendships, and there are times when you are given a t-shirt, a pair of pants... "

Every day of the world

Eduardo Mario, the truck driver, comments of possible hazards in the job: "Grease is a mortal enemy of oxygen. The bottles cannot be manipulated neither with grease neither oil in the hands, nothing that contains lubricants, because they are flammable."

- Have you ever had an accident?

- Well, a bottle once fell on my foot, but those occupational hazards... Because I just not only sit behind the wheel, I also help downloading the bottles.

"The two boys and me have also made some sort of a family. We are neighbors, they live next to the factory and in this job which is every day of the world, I take advantage and I explain things to them.

“I tell them we don't distribute wood, neither iron, nor cement; that this is a job for the person who needs it as matter of life or death, hence responsibility to the job comes first. I will soon turn 60 years old, but I watched them be born and I have seen them grown to become good people."

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Local Albahaca Herb for Health

The local Albahaca is a bush that can reach a meter high with many wide and aromatic leaves which are often used in the Italian cook and It has small flowers of lilac, white and read colors.

It is about medicinal plant, which is also locally known as Alhábega, Alfábega, Basílica and Hierba real. It is useful to make a homemade cure for cough and sort throat. Its scientific name is Ocimumbasilicum.

That plant usually gets the direct sunray and it can be planted in well-drained flowerpots which do not accumulate water, but it needs it could be watered regularly and planted in flowerpots and well-fertilized plots of lands. It does not usually stand excessive coldness or heat. It does not resist many related harvests; therefore, it is necessary to plant it again.

Its leaves have an intense green color with many medicinal and cooking properties and it has a smell that makes people to feel happy. These are some the reasons by which the Albahaca plant should not be absent from the ecological and urban garden.

Local Albahaca Herb for Health

It grows easily in courtyards and gardens and the treatment against cough, phlegm, wound-scar formation, stomach disorders, lack of appetite, gases, soar throat, tonsillitis, snore disorders while sleeping, as well as nauseas, colics, anxiety, migraine and the beat of insects, are among its properties.

Its properties include its antispasmodic, digestive, anti-bacteria, fungicidal, insecticide, astringent, cicatrizant, stimulating and inflammatory reactions.

The leaves and stalks of this plant are the parts used of it to season potato omelets, meat soups, fish, chickens, salads, stuffed dishes, as well as sauces, sweets and liquors.The Albahaca plant can be perfectly combined with dishes which include tomate, olive oil, lemon, read meats, pastry and cheeses.

It is plant for an annual harvest and it comes from India and it certainly combines well with many foods like the tomato, aromatic plants like oregano, garlic and onions.

That plant prefers the warm environments and it does not stad the extreme cold. Its ideal temperature ranges from 15 to 25 Centigrade graded and it requires a fertile and fresh soil, besides, it survives well in an illuminated environment. However, it tolerates a semi-shadow one.

Although its most fruitful sowing process takes place in seedbeds, it could also be carried out in soil or in a flowerpot by burying its seeds up to 2 centimeters deep.

Local Albahaca Herb for Health

The most proper time for it is from February to April in humid land, then it is convenient provide them a higher quantity of light after 15 days, approximately.

Its proximity to other plants will keep it far from insects and plagues, especially the tomatoes which are also favored by it because of it protect them from parasites and it increases their flavors. It is much better to plant the aforementioned plant in places sheltered from the wind, taking into account that its branches are easily broken when there is an intense wind.

It is convenient to prune them every two weeks to secure a strong plant and abundant foliage. It is much better to water the soil directly than its leaves, instead.

If we wanted it to grow much more, then it is convenient to take out its flowers, unless we wanted to collect its seeds. However, we could use its pruned leaves for a year period. The best occasion for collecting and preserving it is precisely, as we have seen up to here, before its flowering period. Once it was collected, it could be used by us.

Local Albahaca Herb for Health

To frozen it, it is the best way to preserve it to be used and it should be placed in small quantities in the freezer compartment. Once is collected, it is advisable to hung it up side down in a fresh place under a shadow. Once it was dried, it should be placed into a glassed container.

Another of its benefits is the fact about being a sedative as if it was consumed at night, then it would help enjoying a pleasant dream. It is also antiseptic and anti-inflammatory one, thus, being a proper allied to face influenza.

It regulates the nerve system and it is recommended in cases of stress. It is a good and natural painkiller, especially in feverish conditions or general weakness sensation. It is a very digestive plant that helps correcting the gastrointestinal disorders.

By Teresa Valenzuela

Hepatitis B Vaccination Phase Begins in Cuban Province

The Cuban vaccine HeberNasvac for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B will begin its fourth phase of application at the Camilo Cienfuegos General University Hospital in this province, health sources reported today.

Lourdes Perez, first degree specialist in Gastroenterology, informed the local media that in this stage more than 200 patients infected with this virus will benefit.

The principal investigator of the clinical study at the health center said the drug has the potential to kill the surface antigen which causes the infections resulting in chronic liver disease.

This vaccine, produced by the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) in Havana, is administered nasally and subcutaneously in its second cycle and causes fewer adverse reactions than previous treatments.

According to Perez, patients who are not treated promptly may progress to liver cirrhosis, hepatocarcinoma and other complications.

The HeberNasvac, with a sanitary validation that allows its use in several countries, has become a door of hope in a scenario where every year nearly one million people die from complex liver diseases, according to the World Health Organization.

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