Cuba Saves!

Source: La Santa Mambisa

March 19 2020

By Rosa Miriam Elizalde

The cruise ship MS Braemar, with 5 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and a thousand people on board, docked shortly before dawn on Wednesday in the Port of Mariel, 40 kilometers from Havana. The airport evacuation corridor towards the runway of the “José Martí” international terminal, from where four UK planes transported the evacuees, marched with the precision of a clockwork mechanism.

While the world is holding its breath and it is impossible to predict the consequences of the pandemic, Cuba made headlines yesterday due to the transfer of the more than a thousand Braemar passengers and crew who, since March 8, have been confined to a ghost ship in the Caribbean. .  

The odyssey began when the cruise ship of the British company Fed Olsen arrived in Cartagena, where an American diagnosed shortly after with coronavirus descended. From that moment on, five Caribbean ports denied entry to the ship and the families of the cruise passengers went to the media to express fear for the fate of their loved ones and the possibility that they would be forced to travel the long way back to Europe. , exposed to massive contagion and perhaps death on an industrial scale before the ship could reach Britain.

The alarmism and the morbid media that is lived these days with the new coronavirus, turned the passengers and crew into a kind of plagued. Anthea Guthrie , a Braemar passenger and retired gardener, showed on her Facebook page a video of the moment the cruise ship was supplied 25 miles from one of the ports where it was unable to dock. A ship towed a second rudimentary barge, without a motor or crew, to bring sacks of rice and banana clusters to the Braemar, which members of the British crew boarded in the middle of the night, as fugitives on a pirate expedition.

Cuba thanked for their solidarity

The testimony of that moment was shared by Anthea after the good news was known that Cuba would receive them. She also published another video in which the passengers, relaxed on deck, thanked the island for solidarity and raised glasses to the health of Cubans. Like a veteran in the networks, she has not only been reporting from the ship, but also included the hashtag #DunkirkSpirit (Dunkirk Spirit), which refers to the evacuation of 330,000 allied soldiers – mostly British – from the French coasts in May 1940, at the start of World War II, when Adolf Hitler seemed invincible.

“For us, Dunkirk is not just talking about heroism, but about humanity. It means that there are departures in the worst of circumstances and, this time, we will have to thank Cuba, “said Anthea, relieved after the news that the cruise ship would dock on the island.

The decision by Havana to allow entry to MS Braemar, after the request of the governments of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, did not surprise Cubans, who have a long tradition of medical and humanitarian collaboration. Since the beginning of the 1960s, thousands of health workers have collaborated with almost every poor country in this world. More than 35,000 medical students from 138 countries have prepared for free on the island. After the devastating earthquakes in Pakistan (2005) and Haiti (2010), or during the Ebola crisis in West Africa, in 2014, Cuban doctors were the first to reach the territories marked by devastation.

The great paradox

The Cuban collaboration of health and its indisputable scientific results, particularly in the field of biotechnology, have provoked poisonous anger in the privileged ones of all time and sympathy and warmth in those who have never been ignored. But “the truth of Cuba”, a saving table for many during the Covid-19 pandemic, has tipped the scales towards expressions of affection directed at the “army of white coats”.  The Latin American governments that under pressure from Washington expelled the doctors, today live the double ordeal of the coronavirus and the claim of their peoples for such an act of arrogance and stupidity. A row of countries calls for the island’s medical and pharmaceutical collaboration, which have demonstrated their effectiveness in treating the sick.

The great paradox is that, while the ships with oil and food contracted by Cuba are harassed by the United States, the ships with the sick that nobody wants in their ports receive solidarity and respect in Cuba. Trump’s regime, incidentally, refused to receive Braemar, according to article published on Wednesday the newspaper The Independent .

The two most repeated words since yesterday on Twitter are “Cuba saves.” No chance.

Burkina Faso: Thomas Sankara Lives in the Memory of Africans

Source:  TeleSUR
December 21 2019

Photography of Thomas Sankara, Burkina Faso.Photograph of Thomas Sankara, Burkina Faso.
| Photo: Twitter/ @comunistaabdito

This 21st of December marks the 70th birth anniversary of the Pan-Africanist revolutionary who is said to have been the “Che Guevara” of Africa.

On December 21st, African peoples remember the birth of Thomas Sankara, a Marxist revolutionary who became the icon of a collective struggle against the oppression from imperialist nations.

RELATED: Burkina Faso Re-Establishes Diplomatic Relations With China

Thomas Sankara was born in 1949 in the French colony known at that time by the name of Upper Volta, which he would later rename Burkina Faso, which means “the land of upright people.”

While his parents came from a middle class, Sankara would not have been able to afford the costs of a college education. As a result, he chose to enter the military at the age of 17.

Once he began his military career, he contacted Adama Toure, a civilian professor who was known for having progressive, and even radical, ideas.

He invited a few of his brightest students to join informal discussions about international politics, which would have led Sankara to familiarize himself with debates on the African liberation movements.

In 1971, he was sent for officer training to Madagascar where he witnessed several popular uprisings and first read the works of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin, which profoundly influenced his thinking.

Years later, Sankara joined the “Communist Officers’ Group,” a secret organization that brought together young officers who were seeking deep social changes in their country.

In 1981, he held his first public position as Secretary of State for Information. A year later, however, Sankara resigned because he disagreed with what he called policies against workers.​​​​​​​

Sankara became President in 1983 at the age of 33 as an effect of a coup d’état organized by Captain Blaise Compaore, who later would have led another coup against the Marxist revolutionary.​​​​​​​

Anti-imperialist

From the presidency, the African leftist leader promoted an anti-imperialist revolution, whose main policies were focused on promoting reforestation, securing safe water, averting famine, and providing education and health to all the population.

During his four years of government, the charismatic leader acquired greater visibility in the context of African international politics.

At the 25th Conference of the Organization for African Unity (OAU), for example, he harshly criticized external indebtedness, which he considered to be one of the new instruments used by developed countries to control the peoples of the world and keep them plunged into poverty.​​​​​​​

“Sankara’s foreign policy was largely focused on anti-imperialism, with his government shunning all foreign aid. He insisted on debt reduction, nationalizing all land and mineral wealth, and averting the power and influence of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB),” local outlet

The leftist leader also privileged the defense of the Non-Aligned Movement, rejected U.S. interference in developing countries, condemned the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, sympathized with Cuba and Nicaragua, and ​​​​​​​expressed his solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

During his short but fruitful administration, Sankara promoted an unprecedented policy to foster gender equity and free women from the bonds of traditional culture.

“Woman source of life, but also woman object. Mother but a servile maid. Nurse woman but woman excuse. Worker in the field and at home, but figure without face and voice. Woman hinge, woman confluence, but woman chained, woman shadow in the shadow of man,” he said.

After Sankara’s murder in 1987, which his former friend described as just an “accident,” the new regime proudly proclaimed that its main policy objective would be to “rectify” the Burkinabe revolution.

Urban farming as a response to climate-driven food crises: Cuba shows the way

Source:  Revolucion Alimentaria

November 12 2019

by Paul Brown
Climate News Network, November 12, 2019  

When countries run short of food, they need to find solutions fast, and one answer can be urban farming.

That was the remedy Cuba seized with both hands 30 years ago when it was confronted with the dilemma of an end to its vital food imports. And what worked then for Cuba could have lessons today for the wider world, as it faces growing hunger in the face of the climate crisis.

A possible blueprint for the survival of city populations in a warming world

When the Soviet Union collapsed in the 1990s, most of Cuba’s food supplies went with it. To stave off severe malnutrition the people of the capital, Havana, found an imaginative answer: urban gardening. That’s now seen as a possible blueprint for the survival of city populations in a warming world.

The Rapid Transition Alliance has published a longer account of Cuba’s very fast move towards self-sufficiency as part of its series Stories of Change, which describes cases of large-scale, rapid transformation that can seem difficult to achieve but which have often worked before.

The problem of hunger for the Cubans arose because during the Cold War they had stopped producing food of their own and turned over most of their farmland to sugarcane plantations to supply the Soviet Union. In return for these mountains of sugar Moscow provided Cuba with food, chemical fertilizers and fuel oil for its cars and tractors.

The Soviet collapse brought the breakdown of this trade, and food rationing for city dwellers. And Cuba lost its main food supply while it was still coping with strict US sanctions. Reverting to conventional farming would have taken time and was in any case difficult because the Soviet fertilizers, fuel and pesticides had also dried up.

So the highly-educated urban citizens, faced with rationing which reduced the average Cuban’s daily calorie intake from 2,600 in 1986 to 1,000-1,500 in 1993, organised themselves to grow their own food in improvised urban allotments.

At first, struggling with little know-how and without fertilizers, their yields were low, but by producing compost and other organic growing mediums, plus introducing drip-fed irrigation, they began to see improvements.

Short of chemicals, the gardeners resorted to biological controls like marigolds (where opinions today are mixed) to deter harmful insects.

By 1995 Havana alone had 25,000 allotments tended by families and urban cooperatives. The government, realizing the potential benefits, encouraged the movement.

Soil quality was improved with a mixture of crop residues, household wastes and animal manure to create more compost and soil conditioners. The extra fresh vegetables and fruit this provided quickly improved urban dwellers’ calorie intake and saved many from malnutrition.

In the Cuban climate, with irrigation changes and soils undergoing constant improvement from added organic matter, the allotments could produce vegetables all year round. Lettuce, chard, radish, beans, cucumber, tomatoes, spinach and peppers were grown and traded.

Health benefits

There is evidence as well that the extra exercise which these urban gardeners got from tending their allotments, plus the time they spent outdoors in the open air, benefited their health.

Eventually, realizing that self-sufficiency was the only way to feed the population, the government banned sugarcane growing altogether. Lacking fertilizer, many former plantations were turned over to organic agriculture. The shortage of oil for tractors meant oxen were used for plowing.

Cuba’s experience of urban agriculture inspired many environmentalists to believe that this is at least part of the solution to the food shortages threatened by climate change. By 2008 food gardens, despite their small scale, made up 8% of the land in Havana, and 3.4% of all urban land in Cuba, producing 90% of all the fruit and vegetables consumed.

As a result the calorie intake of the average Cuban quickly rose to match that of Europeans, relying on a diet composed mainly of rice, beans, potatoes and other vegetables – a low-fat diet making obesity rare.

Because of the climate, though, wheat does not grow well in Cuba, and the island still has to import large quantities of grain for bread. Meat is in short supply and also has to be mainly imported.

Despite this, Cuba’s experience since the Cold War ended in the 1990s shows that large quantities of fresh food can be grown in cities and that urban agriculture is sustainable over decades.

For other countries vulnerable to sudden loss of food supplies, Cuba’s experience suggests that urban farming can be one way of staving off potential famine when imports are restricted, expensive or simply unobtainable.

Knowledge knows no borders

Source:  Granma
March 20 2018

U.S. orthopedic surgeon Xavier Duralde collaborates with Cuban doctors at Havana’s Ameijeiras Hospital

Dr. Xavier Duralde from the United States (center), with doctors Horacio Tabares Neyra and Osvaldo García Martínez, course coordinators representing the Cuban Orthopedics and Traumatology Society. Photo: Nuria Barbosa León

Despite obstacles imposed by the current U.S. administration to hamper relations with Cuba, including claims of alleged “sonic attacks” against its diplomatic personnel on the island, and issuing of an unfounded travel advisory against the Caribbean nation, recommending that its population “reconsider” visiting Cuba, U.S. citizens continue wanting to experience the island and help build bridges between the two nations.

Such is the case of Dr. Xavier Duralde from the United States, experienced orthopedic surgeon and renowned professor who gave an international course on arthroscopic diagnosis and treatment of injuries to shoulder and elbow joints to Cuban colleagues at Havana’s Hermanos Ameijeiras Surgical Clinical Hospital.

Duralde described the exchange with his Cuban counterparts as beneficial for both parties given marked interest in the development of minimally invasive surgery – or arthroscopic surgery within orthopedics – on the island, used to correct ankle, knee, hip, elbow, shoulder and wrist conditions.

Sharing new ideas

The specialist highlighted how performing this type of surgery benefits Cuban doctors, as well as the need to extend it to shoulder procedures. “I have come to share new ideas in these types of techniques so that their use can be extended here,” he noted.

The U.S. specialist also emphasized his marked interest in visiting the island given the lack of knowledge in his country about contemporary Cuban society. I am very proud to be visiting for the first time and to be sharing with colleagues on these issues, stated the U.S. medical professional.

Xavier Duralde, who graduated from the University of Columbia and currently works at Northside and Predmont hospitals in Atlanta, is also an associate adjunct professor at the Emory University School of Medicine in this U.S. state and orthopedic surgeon for the Atlanta Braves baseball team. He is also a member of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Society; Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons; as well as the Major League Baseball Physicians Association.

An improvement in collaborative relations

The surgeon explained that the opportunity to give the course arose after he met Dr. Horacio Tabares Neyra, president of the Cuban Orthopedics and Traumatology Society, at an international specialist event.

He also noted that he wishes to repeat the experience and thus hopes to see an improvement in collaborative relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

Meanwhile, Tabares Neyra noted that the course was divided into three sessions and attended by orthopedic and rheumatology specialists from the country’s 15 provinces as well as all hospitals in the capital, with theoretic and practical sessions and demonstrations of live surgeries performed on real patients.

Xavier Duralde “is an expert in the theoretical and practical elements of these treatments, and his help is very valuable to extending arthroscopic shoulder surgery throughout the country,” stated Tabares Neyra, who went on to note that the program was designed by Duralde himself and given in Spanish, which helped understanding.

Regarding the Cuban Orthopedics and Traumatology Society, Tabares Neyra explained that the institution was founded in the 1940s, currently has over 2,000 members, and was presided for various decades by national and internationally renowned professor Dr. Rodrigo Álvarez Cambra.

Among other efforts, the Society aims to contribute to scientific work; disseminate key achievements of its professionals; introduce modern technologies and new prophylactic and therapeutic methods within the specialty through frequent exchanges and debates on individual and collective experiences. It also maintains links with similar national and international scientific institutions, with the potential for scientific-technical and educational exchanges in this field.

In figures

In 2017, 989,209 general surgeries using traditional methods were performed in Cuba, some 5,326 more than the previous year. During this period, 52,017 procedures using minimally invasive techniques were carried out, an increase of around 6,000 as compared to 2016. Minimally invasive surgery is practiced in 53 hospitals and by 13 medical specialties in Cuba.

Cuba’s achievements in spite of the economic blockade outlined in the UN

Source:  Granma
October 3 2017

by: Prensa Latina | internet@granma.cu

On October 2, Cuba presented some of its achievements in education, health and social inclusion, and recalled that these have been attained despite the U.S. blockade against the island, in force for more than half a century

 

cuba's achievements despite the blockadeCuban Ambassador to the UN, Anayansi Rodríguez, denounced the current U.S. administration’s plans to tighten the economic, commercial and financial blockade, repeatedly condemned by the international community. Photo: Cubaminrex

UNITED NATIONS.–On October 2, Cuba presented some of its achievements in education, health and social inclusion, and recalled that these have been attained despite the U.S. blockade against the island, in force for more than half a century.

“This criminal policy causes damages and scarcities for the Cuban people, is the main obstacle to the development of our country, affects other nations because of its extraterritorial reach, and continues to harm the interests of U.S. citizens and companies,” stated Ambassador Anayansi Rodríguez.

Speaking to the Third Committee of the General Assembly, Cuba’s Permanent Representative to the UN denounced the current U.S. administration’s plans to tighten the economic, commercial and financial blockade, which has been repeatedly condemned by the international community.

According to Rodríguez, despite Washington’s sanctions, Cuba is advancing in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with the moral strength of having fulfilled the Millennium Development Goals.

Cuba has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world

In this regard, she highlighted that Cuba reached an infant mortality rate of 4.1 per 1,000 live births at the end of the first half of 2017, one of the lowest rates in the world, while life expectancy at birth stands at 78 years.

Cuba was also the first country to eliminate mother-child transmission of HIV-AIDS and congenital syphilis, she added.

The Cuban ambassador also recalled that a free universal vaccination program is in place on the island against 13 diseases, the country is illiteracy free, and the state allocates more than two thirds of its budget to education, health, social security, culture, sport and scientific research.

Rodríguez also noted Cuba’s satisfaction on having cooperated with other nations in various sectors.

Cuba: Natural medicine facilities to be certified

Havana.— At least ten local Natural and Traditional Medicine (MNT) production facilities, across the same number of Cuban provinces, are set to receive certification for meeting best pharmaceutical practice standards by the end of this year, according to a sector expert. (Photo: http://www.radiohc.cu)

Speaking to ACN, Johann Perdomo Delgado, head of the Ministry of Health’s MNT department, confirmed that centers of this kind are based in Ar­temisa, Mayabeque, Matanzas, Villa Clara, Sancti Spíritus, Ciego de Ávila, Camagüey, Las Tunas, Holguín and Santiago de Cuba.

Certification process

He added that the certification process will be undertaken by the Center for State Control of Medicine Quality, Cuba’s medications governing body, founded in 1989 following the approval of a ministerial resolution.

Perdomo Delgado noted that the main objective of the process is to improve the centers’ infrastructure and technology, and ensure that they receive plant biomass from the Ministry of Agriculture.

The Minsap representative also noted these raw materials contain elements essential to on-site and dispensary production of aloe vera, marigold, lime, passionflower, French oregano and pine products, among others.

Prescribed to millions of people

Perdomo Delgado, MNT grade one and two specialist also noted that natural medications and traditional remedies were prescribed to millions of people during the first week of the year alone.

He stated that in addition to providing phytodrugs and bee-derived products, MNT also includes acupuncture and related techniques, homeopathy, flower-therapy, ozone-therapy, hydro-therapy (sun and sea water treatments) traditional therapeutic exercises, and nutritional health-food guidance services.

In 2011, the Center for State Control of Medicine Quality merged with the Center for State Control of Medical Devices to create the Center for State Control of Medicines, Medical Devices and Equipment, although it maintains its original acronym, Cecmed.

Cuba: Promising prospects for the treatment of cerebral ischemia

Source:  Granma
July 28 2016

by: Orfilio Peláez | orfilio@granma.cu

Promising research results

The discovery of the neuro-protective qualities of a new molecule called JM-20, opens up promising prospects for the treatment of cerebral ischemia

promising search results

A new molecule called JM-20 opens up promising prospects for the treatment of cerebral ischemia. Photo:Prensa Latina

Cuban researchers have discovered pharmacological evidence of the neuro-protective qualities of a new molecule called JM-20, opening up promising prospects for the treatment of cerebral ischemia, a serious global health problem.

Next phase of clinical trials on humans

This discovery now means that the next phase of clinical trials on humans can take place. If successful and the neuro-protective qualities of JM-20 are proven, this could lead to the creation of the first product with effective therapeutic properties to treat the condition and its associated effects. The molecule and its derivatives are protected under a 100% national patent.

Scientific entities involved in the study include the Medicines Development and Research Center’s (Cidem) Neuro-Protection Laboratory; the Research Center for Biological Investigations and Evaluations; the University of Havana’s (UH) Pharmacy and Food Institute; Organic Synthesis Laboratory at the UH’s Chemistry Faculty; Institute of Basic Sciences’ Biology department at Brazil’s Río Grande del Sur Federal University; and Cidem’s Histology Laboratory.

Winner of the 2015 Academy of Sciences of Cuba National Prize

Winner of the 2015 Academy of Sciences of Cuba National Prize in the category of Biomedical Sciences, the study has also received a Special Award from Citma for the most important scientific result.

The Calixto García School of Medical Sciences, a bastion of the Revolution

Source:  Granma
June 27 2016

Author: | internet@granma.cu

As a historic center for human resources training, today Havana’s Calixto Garcia School of Medical Sciences is a cornerstone of the results achieved by Cuba in the field of public health.

Dr. Olga Maria Rocillo was a student at the faculty and has spent 60 years teaching there.  Photo:  Jose M. Correa

Origin –  January 23, 1896

The institution of higher education offers technical and university courses in Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Health Technology, and Psychology, to professionals working in the various Cuban medical programs both inside and outside the country.

The school’s origins date back to January 23, 1896, when the Alfonso XIII Hospital was built close to the Castillo del Príncipe fort. Responding to the demands of university students, in 1943 this was renamed the General Calixto García University Hospital, by presidential decree.

To begin with, the school included the departments of Physiology, Physics-Biology and Chemistry-Biology, with the later addition of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology. As a novelty, the subject of Medical Ethics was introduced, absent from the curriculum at private universities. In the 1930s the teaching of obstetrics was also incorporated.

Early revolutionary struggles

Students and teachers openly participated in the revolutionary struggles against the sell-out and semi-colonial governments of the twentieth century, and in January, 1934, Dr. José Elías Borges Carreras, prominent leader of the National Medical Federation, was killed during a strike.

Medical students took part in the protests against the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista beginning March 10, 1952, and provided assistance to wounded revolutionaries. Student Manuel Hernández León became one of the martyrs of the struggle, along with other employees, savagely tortured and then assassinated.

With the closure of the University of Havana in December 1956, the medical school also closed its doors, and several of the young people enrolled there set off for the Sierra Maestra, to fight in the ranks of the Rebel Army led by Fidel Castro.

A source of patriots

With the triumph of the Revolution, new management was appointed at the faculty on February 2, 1959, encouraging the admission of professors sincerely committed to the people. They also provided care in the Calixto García hospital itself, given the mass exodus of professionals abroad, encouraged by U.S. media campaigns.

Augusta Vanessa Jose, from Angola, admires the empathy between Cuban health professionals and patients, indicative of the humanist nature of medicine in Cuba.  Photo:  Jose M. Correa.

At the same time, they trained a group of promising students in different subjects to teach the hundreds of young people who entered the university en mass, given the opening up of higher education to all.

So explains Sc.D. Olga María Piera Rocillo, who enrolled in 1954 and saw her studies interrupted in 1956 due to the closure of the school, before continuing in 1959. She was asked to assist with teaching classes on Clinical Propaedeutics and Medical Semiotics for second year students, prior to graduating.

In courses taken before the triumph of the Revolution, students were forbidden from touching patients, Olga explained, noting that she has met many colleagues who graduated without having witnessed a live birth, visited an operating room, or accompanied other doctors in practice.

The impact of the revolution 

On graduating in 1962, Olga was invited to study the specialty of Anatomic Pathology given the withdrawal of specialists in this branch of medicine, which she grew to love, thanks to the dedicated efforts of a Bulgarian professor, who was providing solidarity in Cuba.

The Doctor of Sciences and tenured professor, describes teaching as the center of her life: “I enter a class and it is as if an artist is taking to the stage to become a character. In the classroom I give it my all, and show my students where to find out more, so they can surpass me,” she notes, adding “Today I note how my students occupy different leadership positions, others are professors and several are scientists.”

She has a range of anecdotes regarding her students to tell. She recalls those who failed to make the grade due to spelling mistakes, the sadness of an Ecuadoran student when his father was ill. Also student Augusto Enriquez, who dared to sing on the same stage as the Argentine troubadour Mercedes Sosa and today devotes himself to music.

Comprehensive professionals

The professor advises her students to base their diagnosis on the accuracy of the clinical examination; to learn to listen to the patient; to distinguish the visible pathological changes in the body; relate prior conditions to the current state and order laboratory and radiological tests when needed. “It is usual in contemporary medical practice to rely only on the complementary tests,” the experienced doctor explains.

Faculty Dean Mabel Aguiar Gorguis, a second degree specialist in Comprehensive General Medicine, agrees with her colleague. She notes that a peculiarity of the Cuban school is the integration of theory and practice, as from the first year of study students undertake rotations at different health care levels, learning through practice.

The faculty has several teaching locations in three municipalities of the province of Havana for these rotations: Habana del Este, Central Havana and Old Havana. Specifically, the facilities of the Calixto García University Hospital for the teaching of clinical and surgical sciences, the Central Havana Pediatric Hospital for child and maternity care, and the América Arias Maternity Hospital for gynecology and obstetrics. Specialized centers and tertiary institutes are also used for postgraduate education.

The Calixto García Faculty of Medical Sciences offers degree courses in Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Health Technology and Psychology. Photo: Jose M. Correa

There is a teaching department in each Municipal Health Administration

Throughout the country, there is a teaching department in each Municipal Health Administration closely linked with the school and responsible for arranging student medical practice in each area.

Mabel notes, “From the first year, medical students start to perform basic nursing procedures. I mean hand washing; measuring blood pressure; intravenous, subcutaneous and intramuscular injections. That is, necessary skills to interact with patients and their families. Of course, they are accompanied by a tutor, the attending physician in the clinic in which they find themselves.”

Students at the forefront

These same steps are followed by students from other countries enrolled at the school, who either self-finance their studies or have scholarships funded via exchange agreements signed between their governments and Cuba. Students from a total of 28 nations study alongside Cubans.

Another group undertakes short courses, internships, residencies in different medical specialties, masters and doctorates. The medical degrees offered by the faculty have been accredited and certified as “Course of Excellence” on three occasions, fuelling the enrolment of approximately 4,000 international students in each academic year.

Another important area is the research conducted within the curriculum, responding to strategic lines of inquiry carried out by groups of professors, which is continued in postgraduate courses, masters and doctorates. This knowledge is shared in different scientific conferences convened by the faculty staff.

Personal effort and dedication

This is corroborated by medical student Alberto Alonso Mompié, who notes that his degree course demands a great deal of personal effort and dedication. However, he combines his studies with extra-curricular activities, cultural events and sports.

“We participate in other activities related to awareness and disease prevention in the community,” he explains, adding, “I’m talking about the Health Fairs, during which we staff different stands in a park to explain sexually transmitted diseases, non-communicable diseases, control of diabetes and hypertension, hygiene at home, and many other subjects. We have done so in the Los Sitios neighborhood, the Villa Panamericana, and along Havana’s Prado Avenue.”

Meanwhile, Yaneisys Gutierrez Villavicencio, in her third year of medicine, notes that students of the faculty actively participate in the country’s political life, “I can mention two examples, the March of the Torches, held every year on the evening of January 27 to commemorate the birth of José Martí, which we lead. We also organize a camp prior to May 1st, and we parade with the people on International Workers’ Day.”

Students of other nationalities also participate in these activities as Augusta Vanessa José, from Angola, notes, “I have witnessed the humanism in treating patients. I admire this chemistry of empathy achieved between doctor and patient. I find it fascinating to study medicine in Cuba.”

Cuban doctors concerned at growing number of diabetic children

Source:  Cuban News Agency
June 23 2016

villa clara cuba.jpgEndocrinologists say that the report this year in central Villa Clara province of 14 new cases of children below five years of age suffering from Diabetes Type 1 is a concerning event.

Doctor Julieta Garcia, Second Degree endocrinologist explained that 32 cases were reported last year, all below 19 years of age, but this year report is thus far under five, with the last to show the disease are children between one and three years.

Contributing factors

According to the doctor, the factors favoring the increase of diabetic cases include inappropriate diet, consumption of food with high caloric values and genetic heritage. Some chemical substances foreign to the human body appearing in food preserves or in fast food can alter hormonal balance.

Doctor Garcia, who heads the Provincial Technical and Advisory Commission on Diabetes in Villa Clara, explained that Diabetes mellitus type 1, also known as juvenile diabetes is a metabolism-related disease.

Health authorities in the central territory expressed concern about the growth of diabetic children because three decades ago reports would tell of five to seven cases a year, and now the situation has changed.

WHO to Announce End of Ebola in Liberia, Thanks to Cuba

Source:  TeleSUR
June 9 2016The Ebola virus has devastated parts of West Africa.

The Ebola virus has devastated parts of West Africa. | Photo: Reuters
The Ebola virus is expected to be all but gone in Liberia, thanks in large part to the work of Cuban doctors in Africa.

The World Health Organization is expected to announce Thursday that the Ebola virus in Liberia has been adequately controlled according to the New Straits Times.

RELATED:  Cuban Doctors Arrive in South Africa to Revamp Healthcare

Liberia will have passed the WHO threshold of 42 days since the last known patient tested negative for the second time. The WHO declared an end to Ebola in neighboring Guinea just last week, but warned that the virus still remained a threat.

Cuban doctors were among some of the heroes who helped tackle the Ebola virus in West Africa.Cuba sent hundreds of doctors to the affected areas to provide care and training for locals.

WATCH: Sierra Leone: Cuban doctors reducing Ebola cases

In February 2015, a team of Cuban doctors who were helping to fight Ebola in West Africa were nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

The Ebola virus epidemic began in West Africa in December 2013 with Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone the worst hit countries with over 28,000 reported cases. The death toll of the virus was approximately 10,000 according to the WHO in December 2014.

RELATED: New Ebola Outbreak in Guinea Kills 7

The virus affected a number of African countries and sparked fears of a global catastrophe with governments threatening travel ban restrictions to the worst-affected countries. It left economies and health systems in West Africa in ruins.

Health professionals in Liberia said that the international response to Ebola in West Africa was well below what was needed.

It is mostly acknowledged that without the aid of Cuba and its doctors, very little would have been done to stop the outbreak.

Cuban doctors have been pivotal in providing care and training in disaster-affected areas around the world, most recently in Ecuador’s devastating earthquake.