Cuban population protected against polio

Cuba is the only country in the world that since 1961 has been holding annual polio vaccination campaigns, which have allowed under 72-year-old population to be protected against the disease, experts from the ministry of public health (MINSAP by its Spanish acronym) said in Havana.

Eliminating immunopreventable diseases requires vaccination coverage of more than 95 percent, aggressive measures to control outbreaks, and a strong surveillance system. Cuba maintains these three factors as a guarantee of success for one of the health system's priorities, which in 1962 made it the first Latin American country to declare itself polio-free.

Cuba provides two types of polio vaccine: the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), which is administered intradermally, and the live, attenuated oral polio vaccine (OPV), which protects the population from the three types of poliovirus, Dr. Belkys Galindo, epidemiologist at Pedro Kouri Institute (IPK) and head of surveillance for adverse events in polio vaccination, explained.

The first is given to four- and eight-month-old children, and the second, through immunization campaigns two times a year, she stressed.

According to statistics, 856,700.000 doses have been given from 1961 to 2019 to protect the population from a virus that attacks the spinal cord and causes muscular atrophy and paralysis.For her part, Dr. Sonia Resik, head of the Virology Department at the same institute and the National Poliomyelitis Reference Laboratory, stressed that Cuba is safe because it maintains 99.5 percent coverage in the OPV and 100 percent in the IPV.

According to the World Health Organization, if there are enough people in a community who are immunized, the virus will not find sensitive hosts and will die out.

For that reason, in order to stop transmission and prevent epidemic outbreaks, it is necessary to maintain high vaccination coverage, as Cuba has done for several decades, Resik noted. (ACN)

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Cuban president reaffirms willingness to resist US hostility

Havana, Feb 28 (Prensa Latina) President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Friday reaffirmed Cuba's will to resist the US aggressions, in the face of a new action by Washington to restrict remittances to the island.

The president described the suspension on Wednesday, by the Western Union remittance company, of those financial transfers to Cuba, except those issued from the United States as another measure against the Cuban people.

This is how the empire performs, with total arrogance and contempt, but nobody's gonna stop us, Diaz-Canel posted on his Twitter account, where he put a link with a note about the issue published by Granma newspaper on Friday.

This is measure 191 the administration of Donald Trump has imposed on the Cuban people with the aim of provoking discouragement and despair, so that this results in holding the revolutionary authorities responsible for the effects caused by its unilateral measures, Granma stated.

That company had announced last month it could lose its ability to operate transactions destined for the island 'due to unique challenges of the service that sends remittances from countries outside the United States to Cuba.'

As part of Washington's measures, Cuba has suffered fuel shortages since September 2019 when the normal cycle of tanker operations broke down, as a result of the US harassment against shipping and insurance companies.

Along these lines, the White House has implemented sanctions to Cuban companies such as Cubametales and Corporacion Panamericana S.A, for their purchases of energy carriers, among other actions.

  • Published in Now

Serbian parliamentarians and Cuban ambassador meet

Cuba is determined to develop all its spheres and improve its society, despite the blockade imposed by the United States and the tightening of that policy by the Donald Trump administration.

Cuban Ambassador to Serbia Gustavo Trista del Todo expressed his people's determination on Thursday at a meeting with members of the Cuba Friendship Parliamentary Group of the Serbian National Assembly, made up of lawmakers from several political forces.

He explained the latest actions taken by the US Government to prevent Cuba's access to hard currencies, including the ban on cruise ships from docking in Cuba, the elimination of flights to Cuban provinces and other measures that affect the tourism industry.

Trista del Todo also referred to the repeated efforts to block the arrival of oil and other fuels in Cuba, a criminal action against the Cuban people.

The ambassador explained to his interlocutors the meaning of the full enforcement of the Helms-Burton Act, after the coming into force of Titles III and IV, which no US president had so far implemented, due to their marked extraterritorial nature and the obstacles to foreign investment.

Trista del Todo thanked the lawmakers for their visit to the Cuban Embassy and called to hold these kinds of meetings more often to exchange information about the situation in the two parliaments and countries, and further strengthen friendship and cooperation.

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Cuba is developing novel drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis

The director of Science and Innovation of the State company BioCubaFarma, Rolando Perez reported on a novel drug that Cuba is currently developing to treat patients with rheumatoid arthritis, which generates a high degree of disability.

This product - named the immunomodulatory peptide cigb814 - is one of those intended for the therapy of autoimmune diseases, Perez told the Granma daily.

Unlike other medications used against the aforementioned medical condition, this biopharmaceutical has no immunosuppressive or direct anti-inflammatory activity, but restores control of the immune response to the antigens themselves (natural tolerance), through the expansion of regulatory t cells, argued Perez.

With regard to the issue of new preventive vaccines, the also Senior researcher and Member of Merit of Cuba's Academy of Sciences indicated that the Finlay Institute has been working on the creation of a pneumococcal vaccine.

A phase III clinical trial of this vaccine in children of preschool age was recently completed with satisfactory results, and its registration must be requested from the Cuban regulatory agency, the Center for State Control of Medicines, Equipment and Medical Devices.

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Ballets of Cuba and Mexico to honor Alicia Alonso

Mexico, Feb 27 (Prensa Latina) The National Ballet of Cuba directed by Viengsay Valdes and the National Dance Company (NCD) of Mexico will pay tribute to Cuban prima ballerina assoluta Alicia Alonso, with three performances of 'Giselle' at the Palace of Fine Arts.

The version of 'Giselle' to be performed is the one created by Anton Dolin in the '30s and '40s, the first that Alonso danced in 1943 when replacing Alicia Markova in the American Ballet Theater, said Cuauhtemoc Najera who heads the NCD along with Elisa Carrillo.

He said that on Viengsay Valdes' recent visit to Mexico she had explained how Cuba would celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the famous dancer's birth and anticipated that she sought to make a great international tribute and asked the National Institute of Fine Arts to join.

During the rehearsals, Najera, who is also the artistic director, noted that three first dancers of the National Ballet of Cuba will perform the new version of the 'Giselle' danced by Alicia in the American Ballet Theater.

In total there will be 57 dancers on stage, among them the first dancer of the Cuban National Ballet Rafael Quenedit, who will be the unfaithful Prince Albrecht, the Mexican Ana Elisa Mena will be Giselle, and Daniela Gomez, also a first Cuban dancer, will play Myrtha, the Queen of the Willis.

The performances will be on Thursday, February 27, Sunday, March 1 and Tuesday, March 3, all in the main theater of Fine Arts.

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Díaz-Canel holds dialogue with artists and intellectuals

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel held a dialogue with artists and intellectuals on Wednesday in Havana about the music business system in the country and other important issues for that sector, local media reported.

Díaz-Canel and those present also analyzed the main material deficiencies, the work of the centers and representation agencies, as well as the actions developed and in process, reported the national television newscast.

Participants at the meeting raised that some companies work for some artists under criteria of state subsidy and for others through marketing mechanism.

The head of state pointed out that there are many problems to be solved, which is why he called for creative ways to develop talent.

The report added that a working group was proposed to improve the system of the sector and address these issues from a comprehensive perspective.

The meeting was a follow-up of the agreements of the ninth congress of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba, held in 2019.

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Cuba's Foreign Minister holds talks in Paris with French Secretary of State

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez and the Secretary of State of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, met in Paris on Thursday, where they agreed on the need to boost bilateral relations.

During the encounter, the parties discussed the progress of the links between the two countries and the interest in deepening the high-level political-diplomatic dialogue and in making progress in the economic-commercial relationships and investment.

The visitor underlined that Cuba offers a high priority to relations with France, a prominent commercial partner, and one of the primary senders of tourists to the Caribbean nation.

"We share objectives such as the defense of multilateralism, the protection of the environment and the confrontation with the impact of climate change," said the island's foreign minister, who is briefly in the capital after participating in Geneva in the high-level segment of the 43rd Session of the Human Rights Council.

In the western Swiss city, Rodríguez spoke with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Lemoyne co-chairs the Franco-Cuban Economic and Trade Commission, a forum that met in Paris last December with the signing of three new cooperation agreements among its outcomes.

In mid-January, the Secretary of State received the Deputy Prime Minister of the island, Ricardo Cabrisas.

At Thursday's meeting, Rodríguez was accompanied by the Cuban ambassador to France, Elio Rodríguez, and the Minister's Chief of Staff, Noel González. At the same time, the host was joined by the deputy director for Central America and the Caribbean at the Foreign Ministry, Sebastien Jaunet, and the director of the Secretary of State's Cabinet, François Decoster.

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Cuba and Botswana sign education agreement

Batswana Dowz Academy and Cuban Educational Scientific Exchange Company sign a cooperation agreement in general and special education that includes professors from the Caribbean island in that African country.

The agreement was subscribed by the CEO of that institution, Cheshe Dow; and Cuban ambassador, Patricia Pego, at the headquarters of this academy in Raserura, Kgatleng district, about 35 kilometers northeast the capital city, Gaborone.

Dow highlighted the high professional level of the Cuban specialists hired, whose work will help in the comprehensive education of the Batswana students, including the teaching of Spanish language.

For her part, the Cuban diplomat expressed trust that the results will be positive for both parties, in particular for children and young people who study at the institution.

Dow and Pego recalled the presence in Botswana in the 1980s and 1990s of Cuban teachers of physics, chemistry, mathematics and physical education, and agreed on the unforgettable impact they caused in this country.

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