HomeCubaOn World Health Day, Cuba is an example

On World Health Day, Cuba is an example

Regarding the complex health context facing humanity, the WHO, for World Health Day, invited to join a campaign for equitable access for all to health services, under the slogan Building a fairer world and healthy, designating this 2021 as the International Year of Health and Welfare Workers
Author: Liz Conde Sánchez | internet@granma.cu
April 8, 2021 12:04:01 AM

Every April 7, World Health Day is celebrated, in honor of the date on which the World Health Organization (WHO) was founded, a United Nations agency specialized in managing prevention, promotion and intervention policies of the health sector globally.
For the second consecutive time, the date is once again marked by the confrontation with COVID-19, a pandemic that in just over a year of spread counts up to April 7 132 046 206 confirmed cases and 2 867 242 deaths on the planet.
The epidemic, in addition to causing great economic and social havoc, has highlighted inequalities in access to health services and resources, as well as the fragility of Public Health systems and government inefficiency to face an emergency of this type in most nations, including the so-called First World.
Regarding the complex health context that humanity faces, the WHO, for World Health Day, invited to join a campaign for equitable access for all to health services, under the slogan Building a fairer world and healthy, designating this 2021 as the International Year of Health and Welfare Workers.
When COVID-19 arrived, Cuba already had health indicators comparable to those of developed countries; a solid and organized Public Health system; experience in dealing with other health emergencies; prestige of its doctors at the international level for their presence in nations of all continents and for the help provided in situations of disasters and serious epidemics on previous occasions; in addition to the scientific-biotechnological potential recognized and materialized in research, vaccines and top quality drugs, among other achievements.
One year and one month after the first positive cases of the virus were diagnosed on the Island – although we are witnessing the third outbreak of the pandemic in the country, which daily confirms unprecedented numbers of contagion and increases mortality and sequelae due to the disease – the Biggest of the Antilles already has five 100% autochthonous vaccine candidates: Soberana 01, Soberana 02, Soberana Plus, created by the Finlay Vaccine Institute, and Abdala and Mambisa, from the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology.
Two of them are in phase III of clinical trials (Soberana 02 and Abdala), in addition to the parallel development of a controlled intervention study with both candidates, an effort with which it is hoped to immunize the entire population before the end of the present year.
The initial key to the country’s satisfactory results in the face of the epidemic was in the work directed and organized by the top leadership of the State and Government, even before the first cases were detected.
Precisely, in a message for this important international day, Dr. José Angel Portal Miranda, Minister of Public Health, highlighted that, on the Island, “the approach to this epidemiological situation has had three essential elements as a premise: the express political will of that people’s health is a priority; government management; as well as prevention and anticipation of risk ”.
And it is that, «faithful to the socialist conception of 62 years of Revolution, which places the human being at the center of political practice and government management, has been supported by the State Budget, to face the new coronavirus pandemic, expenditures for more than 1,300 million pesos in: prevention and containment actions, care for the sick and suspects, operation of isolation centers, medicines and in the protection of workers who for different reasons were interrupted at work “, as indicated Meisi Bolaños Weiss, Minister of Finance and Prices, speaking before the plenary of the 6th Ordinary Period of the National Assembly of People’s Power in its 9th Legislature last December.
In a year of incessant work, some of the main results of this work (in addition to the five vaccine candidates) are:
• Numerous hospital institutions and isolation centers for the care of suspects and contacts and the treatment of patients with COVID-19.
• There are 23 Molecular Biology laboratories for the processing of PCR tests, located in 12 provinces (Pinar del Río, Artemisa, Havana, Mayabeque, Matanzas, Villa Clara, Cienfuegos, Ciego de Ávila, Camagüey, Holguín, Santiago de Cuba and Guantánamo) that cover all regions of the country, with the capacity to analyze around 20,000 samples per day.
• More than 3,000,000 tests for pcr carried out.
• More than 90% of positive patients recovered.
• A fatality rate of 0.54%, one of the lowest in America and the world.
• No deceased pediatric patients are reported.
• Permanent surveillance of the disease from primary health care.
• Relevant research carried out by the Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine (IPK), with the aim of deepening the study of the pathogen.
• Conformation of the Cuban Action Protocol for Coping with COVID-19, of a national nature, in continuous improvement, in which 85% of the products used are produced by the BioCubaFarma business group.
• Implementation of a protocol for convalescent care.
• More than 30 products from the Cuban Biotechnology Industry for the treatment of COVID-19, which include antivirals, immune system enhancers, anti-inflammatories, preventive vaccines, diagnostics and medical equipment.
• In medical collaboration with other nations, in the period from March 2020 to April 2021, Cuba has sent 57 brigades and around 5,000 professionals, members of the Henry Reeve International Contingent of Specialized Doctors in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics, to 40 countries in the world to face the COVID-19 pandemic.
• At present, restrictive measures continue to be applied and more resources are available to contain the third wave of the pandemic.
• In addition, Cuba has a National Health System that is characterized by being free, accessible, regionalized, comprehensive, without discrimination and with community and intersectoral participation, based on primary health care.
• The wide network of institutions and services designed allows to provide health coverage to 100% of the population from the operation of more than 11,000 family doctor and nurse offices, 449 polyclinics, 150 hospitals and 12 research institutes, among other centers.
• It has a potential of nine doctors for every thousand inhabitants, which has been essential to face the great health challenge posed by COVID-19.


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