Cuba and Timor-Leste strengthen medical cooperation

HAVANA, Cuba, Sep 14 (ACN) The Ministries of Health of Cuba and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste strengthened their links through the renewal of the current Health Agreement between the two countries to maintain and increase their cooperation in health services and education.Both nations also signed an Academic Service Agreement for Timorese professionals of various medical specialties to be trained in Cuba.Minister of Public Health José Angel Portal Miranda reasserted to the Timorese the willingness of both his Ministry and the government to expand Cuba’s cooperation with and support of Timor-Leste’s health system and to share with that country the Cuban Primary Health Care model and innovative biotechnology products.Timorese doctor Odete Maria Freitas ratified the bonds of friendship between the two nations and stated her country’s appreciation of the Cuban medical brigade that works in Timor-Leste to improve the national health indicators, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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COVID-19 in Cuba: 21 new cases and no deaths

HAVANA, Cuba, Sep 14 (ACN) Cuba reported today 21 new COVID-19 cases, 26 medical discharges and no fatalities.Up until yesterday, 109 people were still in hospital, including one in serious condition that remains in intensive care units, according to the daily report of the Ministry of Public Health.A total of 1,466 samples were taken during the day, and 21 tested positive. Cuba has taken 14,123,328 samples, and 1,110,948 have been confirmed as positive.Of the 21 positive cases, none were asymptomatic.

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Cuba opens first zebrafish laboratory for biomedical purposes

HAVANA, Cuba, Sep 13 (ACN) The first zebrafish laboratory in the country focused on the study of neurological diseases was opened today at the Center for Research and Development of Medicines (CIDEM), in Havana.Yanier Nuñez Figueredo, director of the Experimental Neuropharmacology laboratory of the institution, explained to the press that this species shares 75 % of the genes with human beings and up to 85 % in disease conditions, which is why it has been of great interest for the scientific community in the research of new drugs in early stages.The Center for the State Control of Medicines, Equipment and Medical Devices, the Cuban regulatory authority, requires that in the preclinical stage the products be evaluated in two types of species and these animals are widely used worldwide, the researcher assured.Alejandro Saul Padron Yaquis, general director of CIDEM, pointed out that in rodents the molecule has preclinical data that shows good results, and from the creation of the laboratory this evidence will have support in zebrafish, which will make it possible to start clinical trials on dementia in 2023.The laboratory has facilities for the reproduction of the species, their growth during the five months required to start the experiments and the behavioral area where, from the use of other types of fish, they analyze the behavior of the animals.CIDEM is a scientific institution belonging to BioCubaFarma, dedicated to the research and development of generic medicines, natural products, advanced technologies and diagnostic devices.

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UNICEF keeps constant support to the Cuban health system

HAVANA, Cuba, Sep 12 (ACN) Through the program framework Every Child Survives and Thrives, the United Nations Children’s Fund ( UNICEF) maintains constant support to the Cuban health system to contribute to proper nutrition practices, the national immunization program and the quality of maternal and child health care services and those for adolescents.Dr. Odalys Rodriguez Martinez, an officer of this program, pointed out that during the most complicated moments of the health crisis period, they strengthened institutional and technical capacities within the framework of the COVID-19 response plan.As part of the cooperation actions during the pandemic context, in October 2021 the Japanese government and UNICEF signed the project Strengthening Health Capacity for the COVID-19 crisis, which amounts to 326 million Japanese yen, equivalent to 2,970,297 U.S. dollars.The project, Rodriguez Martinez commented, runs until April 2024 and aims to ensure human security during the health emergency by supporting the health system, the anti-COVID-19 vaccination campaign and health education.It will benefit 253 polyclinics in Cuban provinces; in addition, it will strengthen the institutional capacities of 14 hospitals in Havana linked to maternal and child care and of the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology and the Finlay Vaccine Institute, producers of Cuban immunogens.The project is linked to the Cuban Government’s National Response Plan for the control and containment of COVID-19 and to the Emergency Response Plan of the international organization for the sector.UNICEF has also contributed, since the 2000s, to the expanded immunization program in Cuba through the annual purchase of 70,000 to 100,000 doses of the PRS vaccine (mumps, rubella and measles), which guarantees 100 % coverage of children up to two years of age.

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Cuba appreciates medical supplies donated by Hungary

 HAVANA, Cuba, Sep 9 (ACN) Ana Teresita Gonzalez Fraga, first deputy minister of the ministry of foreign trade and investment, thanked today on behalf of the Cuban government and people for the medical supplies donated by the Republic of Hungary in support of the COVID-19 confrontation in Cuba.We received this aid, consisting of rapid antigen tests and 15 MP-80 coupling stations for infusion pumps, convinced that it will be an important contribution to the Cuban health system, the official noted.She expressed that in the complex conditions the country is going through, worsened by the unprecedented tightening of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the U.S. government, the solidarity and selfless gesture of friendly nations such as Hungary is highly praised.Balázs Heincz, ambassador of that European country to the Caribbean nation, pointed out that the donation comes through Hungary Helps, a specialized directorate of his foreign ministry dedicated to supporting regions affected by natural disasters or other kinds of catastrophes.

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Ugandan Minister of State for Health received Cuban Ambassador

 Havana, Sep 7 (ACN) The State Minister for Health in charge of General Duties of the Republic of Uganda, Bangirana Anifa Kawooya, received Tania Perez Xiques, Cuban ambassador to her country.During the meeting, the government representatives exchanged views on the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic to the world’s health systems and the possibilities of bilateral cooperation in the field of health care.They also discussed the invitation issued by Cuban authorities to participate in the 2022 Cuba-Health Convention, to be held on October 17 to 21 with the theme “Universal Health as part of the 2030 Health Agenda, in a sanitary context marked by COVID-19”.

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Cuba and Guinea Bissau Talk Medical Cooperation

Havana, Sept 7 (ACN) Cuban Health Minister Jose Angel Portal Miranda and his counterpart from Guinea Bissau, Dionisio Cumba, held talks about medical cooperation and their government’s willingness to expand relations between the two nations.Cumba thanked the Cuban government for having assisted his country during the COVID-19 pandemic and stressed the support and work of the Cuban medical brigade who helped his nation. He said they were aware of the difficulties facing Cuba as well about the internationalism characterizing Cuban health workers.Meanwhile, the Cuban health minister acknowledged the humanistic work of Cuban medical brigades in different parts of the world and said that Cuban health workers are currently working in 59 countries. He also expressed his willingness to keep expanding the training of medical specialists to keep contributing to Guinea Bissau’s health system.At present, 34 Cuban medical workers are offering their services in Guinea Bissau, while 664 medical doctors from the African nation graduated from the Cuban Raul Diaz Arguelles School of Medicine.

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Immunoassay Center celebrates 35th anniversary

HAVANA, Cuba, Sep 7 (ACN) Cuban authorities and institutions hailed today the 35th anniversary of the Immunoassay Center, inaugurated by the historic leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro, and currently involved in major national health programs.Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz congratulated the workers of this institution of the Cuban biotechnological industry, designed to promote and produce technologies for large-scale health research.Eduardo Martínez, president of the Business Group of the Biotechnological and Pharmaceutical Industries (BioCubaFarma), also highlighted the Center’s contribution to popular health and its value to the prestige of the Cuban biopharmaceutical industry and the top level of various national health programs, considering that its results include the production of diagnostic kits for research on AIDS, hepatitis B and C, hemorrhagic dengue, alpha-fetoprotein in pregnant women, and congenital hypothyroidism in newborns.A leader in SUMA Technology (Ultra Micro Analytical System), the Immunoassay Center also guarantees the operation of health care initiatives such as the Mother and Child Care program, responsible for the study of almost five million pregnant women and the detection of 9,163 malformations.

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Cubans Fight Dengue Fever Spread in Eastern Province

Camaguey, Sept 6 (ACN) The eastern province of Camaguey is facing a complex spread of Dengue Fever despite ongoing actions to stop it, including prevention and fumigation.Five municipalities in the territory—Esmeralda, Guaimaro, Cespdes, Florida and Sibanicu—currently report some 116.6 positive cases in every 100 thousand inhabitants, over the provincial average, said Lexmilan Torralbo, head of the International Sanitary Control in the region.Torralbo told ACN that intensive actions in tune with infestation levels are underway along with attention to people infected with the virus. This along with fumigation could progressively lower the virus threat, he noted.People suspected to have got Dengue are classified into five groups of patients according to the symptoms, as part of national protocols, which indicate that groups zero, one and two require home isolation and strict follow up by the family doctor; groups three and four include patients who are hospitalized for specialized treatment, according to the local Cadena Agramonte radio station.

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Cuba awards students, researchers and technologists for their scientific contribution

HAVANA, Cuba, Sep 6 (ACN) Cuban students, researchers and technologists will receive today the incentive prizes and mentions for scientific creation granted by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (CITMA by its Spanish acronym) since 2004.According to CITMA’s Directorate of Potential and Technology, a total of 26 awards and 35 mentions were approved throughout the country, in the 10 different categories.One of them is Pedagogical Sciences and the others are Medical, Physical Culture, Technical, Informatics and Computing, Agricultural, Natural and Exact, Social and Humanistic, Biological and Non-Biological Processes.CITMA recognizes the most relevant works of the new generations of scientists and technologists, in honor of the anniversaries of the Young Communist League and the Jose Marti Pioneers Organization.

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Turkish solidarity group sends donation of medical supplies to Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, Sep 2 (ACN) The Cuba-Turkey Friendship Association sent to the Caribbean nation a donation of medical supplies that will contribute to the care of those injured by the large-scale fire that occurred last August 5 in the province of Matanzas.This was informed today by the Cuban foreign ministry in a statement on its website, where it is specified that the cargo should arrive in the island in 40 to 45 days, and contains 1,250 kilograms of syringes, gloves, Foley catheters and masks.According to the information, the Cuban embassy to Turkey, the Cuban Friendship Institute (ICAP by its Spanish acronym) and the ministry of public health (MINSAP by its Spanish acronym) thanked for the gesture of solidarity and stressed its importance.During a ceremony at the moment of the shipment of the donation, Nahide Özkan, president of the Cuba-Turkey friendship association, expressed that the aim of the campaign was to show solidarity with the Cuban people, especially in the health sector, where supplies are lacking due to the tightening, under pandemic conditions, of the U.S. economic, commercial and financial blockade.Launched last November, this initiative entitled “Solidarity is stronger than the blockade”, was supported by thousands of people, mass democratic organizations, artists and intellectuals, Özkan pointed out.

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Cuba Reports Second Monkeypox Case

Havana, Aug 31 (ACN) Cuba’s Health Ministry announced on Wednesday the detection of a second case of monkeypox in Cuban territory, which has no connection to a previous case.In an official release the ministry explains that the case is a 60-year-old Cuban citizen resident in the United States who arrived on August 26 at Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport from Miami city. He did not declare his condition during the international sanitary control.That same day, the man went to a relative’s home in Havana where he stayed up to August 30, the official release explains and adds that he began to experience fever, headache, and other symptoms on August 28 and went to a healthcare on August 30. He was hospitalized and isolated for study and treatment.On August 31, he was diagnosed with infection by monkey pox after a PCR test analyzed at the labs of the Tropical Medicine Institute.The release explains that other epidemiological studies are underway by identifying contacts and carrying out control actions as established in the protocols do deal with the disease.

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US Hatuey Solidarity Project Hands in Medical Donation to Cuban Hospital

Matanzas, Aug 31 (ACN) A donation of medical products was brought by the US Hatuey project to this province major clinical and surgical hospital.US activist Gloria La Riva handed in the cargo to Doctor Taymi Martinez, director of the Faustino Perez hospital. The donation included intravenous sets, surgical gloves, antibiotics, painkillers and other important resources.La Riva said that the donation is the fruit of a collective effort by people and organizations who wanted to extend their support of Cuba, particularly after the massive fire that affected the supertankers oil depot in Matanzas.Doctor Martinez meanwhile referred to the unfair US policy of Cuba which impacts most health services, particularly sensitive ones like hemodialysis and computerized axial tomography. We highly appreciate the support of different organizations, though the Cuban health system needs the blockade to end, said the doctor who praised the high capacity of Cuban health professionals to overcome current difficulties.

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Cuba has administered over 41 million COVID vaccine doses

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 31 (ACN) A total of 41,109,375 doses of the Cuban vaccines Soberana 02, Soberana Plus and Abdala have been administered in the country to 9,986,689 people (90.1% of the Cuban population), the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) reported today.Up to August 29, 10,696,474 Cubans had received at least one dose, whereas 9,425,494 of them have already received a second dose and 9,128,094 a third dose.According to MINSAP, 8,226,592 people have received booster doses, 325,186 of them as part of the clinical study and 7,901,406 as part of the program to reinforce immunization in selected regions and for the benefit of at-risk groups.Since the onset of the pandemic in Cuba, 1,110,539 people have tested positive and 1,101,746 (99.2%) have recovered.

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COVID-19 in Cuba: 42 new cases

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 24 (ACN) Cuba reported today 42 new COVID-19 cases after 1,864 samples were analyzed. A total of 14,097,790 have been taken in the country since the onset of the pandemic, of which 1,110,539 have tested positive.Up until yesterday, 204 people were still in hospital, including one in serious condition that remains in the intensive care unit, according to the daily report of the Ministry of Public Health.Of the 42 new patients, 4 were asymptomatic, making a total of 147,439 cases (13.3% of those confirmed to date).So far, 8,530 Cubans have died—none yesterday—for a 0.77% mortality rate, which is 1.6% in the world and 1.6% in the Americas.

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Cuba reported 33 new cases of COVID 19, 55 discharges and no deaths

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 30 (ACN) Cuba carried out a total of 1,339 samples for surveillance, resulting positive 33. The country accumulates 14,095,926 samples carried out and 1,110,497 positive.At the end of August 29, a total of 377 patients had been admitted, 156 suspected and 221 confirmed active.Of the total number of cases, 21 were contacts of confirmed cases, 1 with a source of infection abroad and 11 with no source of infection specified. There were 55 medical discharges, accumulating 1,101,687 (99.2%) and there were no deaths. One serious confirmed patient is treated in ICU.Among the cases diagnosed, 2 asymptomatic were reported, totaling 147,435 (13.3%) of those confirmed to date. The diagnosed cases belong to the following age groups: under 20 years of age (22), 20 to 39 (6), 40 to 59 (2) and over 60 (3).

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US Activists Meet with Cuban Scientists

Havana, Aug 29 (ACN) US journalist and film maker Abby Martin said that visiting Cuba and exchanging with scientists here about how they keep researching despite local limitations and hardships is a moving experience.Martin visited the Havana-based Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center (CIGB) accompanied by a group of activists including Manolo de los Santos, founder and co-director of The People’s Forum and by Benjamin Samuel Becker, Chief Editor of BreakThrough News.The visitors learned about the newest projects at the scientific institution such as pharmaceuticals like Heberprot-P, Heberferon, Nasalferon and the local COVID-19 vaccines.Martin described as inspiring the efforts of Cuban scientists to preserve the people’s lives in a world where big pharmaceutical conglomerates take health as a mere business. There is much manipulation in this respect in the United States; only when you have this kind of exchanges you can understand how much humanism and commitment are behind each achievement of the Cuban scientific community, she said.The director of Biomedical Research at CIGB, Doctor Gerardo Enrique Guillen, explained about the difficulties caused by the hostile policy maintained by Washington against Cuba, which hinders professional exchange, access to resource, technology and funds which are necessary to advance scientific research.Behind Cuban scientific research lies much of the strategic vision of Comandante Fidel Castro, who push science forwards to address the problems of underdevelopment and the unfair world economic order, Guillen noted.The Cuban Genetic Engineering and Biotech Center was founded July 1, 1986 as a large research-and-production compound outfitted with modern technology, production capacity and prestigious scientists.

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Cuba reported 57 new cases of COVID-19, 59 discharges and no deaths

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 29 (ACN) Cuba reported 57 new positive cases of SARS-CoV-2 at the end of Sunday, in another day with no deaths due to COVID-19, according to a report by the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP by its Spanish acronym), published today on its web page.Yesterday, 59 medical discharges were granted and 243 active patients with the disease remain hospitalized, of which only one is being treated in ICU, reported as serious.Of the total number of cases, 45 were contacts of confirmed cases; 0 with source of infection abroad and 12 with no source of infection specified. Four asymptomatic cases were reported, totaling 147,433 cases (13.3%) of those confirmed to date, and the diagnosed cases belong to the following age groups: under 20 years of age (37), 20 to 39 (12), 40 to 59 (4) and over 60 (4).

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Italy sends medical aid to assist victims of fire in Matanzas

HAVANA, Cuba,Aug 26 (ACN) The government of Italy will send to Cuba a donation of medicines and health supplies to contribute to the assistance to those injured in the fire in the industrial zone of Matanzas.The Cuban ambassador to Rome, Mirta Granda Averhoff, highlighted on Twitter that this humanitarian aid contains approximately 2.3 tons of goods, and is being carried out through the ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation, in coordination with the civil protection department.A statement from the foreign ministry of the European country points out that this donation is being made from the United Nations Humanitarian Emergency Response Base in Brindisi, and is a support to the Cuban authorities for the assistance to the victims of the accident.

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