WASHINGTON._ United Nations experts have called for the principles of equity, universality and popular participation that characterize the Cuban public health system to be implemented globally.
UN-AIDS deputy executive director Luiz Loures said at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) headquarters that the island’s experience could be adapted to be applied in all nations regardless of size, population, or geographic location, because it combines the mobilization of civil society with political will.
The official, along with other experts, was speaking last June 30 at a press briefing to announce that Cuba had become the first nation on earth to have eradicated mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS and syphilis.
According to Loures, the result is the fruit of programs notable for their equity and the commitment of the government.
In the UN-AIDS director’s view, Cuba’s internationalist concept is, in the face of present health care challenges –including HIV/AIDS - now more necessary than ever.
“This experience, the concepts and actions that lead to an achievement of this nature, should be shared with the rest of the world, and we are willing to help Cuba generalize such progress,” he said.
Founded in 1902, the PAHO, which acts as a World Health Organization (WHO) office for the Americas. PAHO director, Carissa Etienne, agreed during the briefing in Washington, that this represents a historic moment of success that should be shared with the region and the world as a whole.
The nurse and public health professional from Dominica recalled Cuba’s traditional cooperation with other countries to improve access to medical care. She added that the rapprochement between Cuba and the U.S. announced last December could help strengthen regional collaboration in the sector.
Just over six months ago, presidents Raúl Castro and Barack Obama announced the launch of a process to reestablish diplomatic relations, a step towards the normalization of bilateral ties which, given the combined experience and scientific advances of both nations, might – in the opinion of experts – have a significant impact on the health sector.
The specialist Adele Benzaken also defended the importance of community mobilization in Cuba as an international reference.
Speaking at the end of the conference called to officially announce the first national elimination of mother to child HIV/AIDS and syphilis transmission, she told the Prensa Latina news agency that one of the things that most impressed her during her visits to Cuba was community participation in health initiatives.
Cuban Minister for Public Health, Roberto Morales, reiterated his country’s willingness to share experiences and results so that others in the region and around the world could attain similar successes.
Morales said that about 70 countries presently count with the help of some 50,000 Cuban health workers, including some 25,000 doctors.
On HIV/AIDS specifically, he recalled that in Africa – the continent on which the lethal virus represents a significant problem – Cuba had 4,000 personnel in over 20 countries.Share on FB Share on TT