Cuba is eradicating child mortality and banishing diseases that affect the impoverished

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      eridani
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      https://www.alternet.org/2022/07/cuba-eradicating-child-mortality-diseases/

      To move from 59 infant deaths out of every 1,000 live births to no infant deaths in the matter of a few decades is an extraordinary feat. It was done, Dr. Dayamis says, because the Cuban Revolution pays an enormous attention to the health of the population. Pregnant mothers are given regular care from primary care doctors and gynecologists and their infants are tended by pediatricians—all of it paid from the social wealth of the country. Small towns such as Palpite do not have specialists such as gynecologists and pediatricians, but within a short ride a few miles away, they can access these doctors in Playa Larga.

      Walking through the Playa Giron museum earlier that day, the museum’s director Dulce María Limonta del Pozo tells us that the many of the captured mercenaries were returned to the United States in exchange for food and medicines for children; it is telling that this is what the Cuban Revolution demanded. From early into the Revolution, literacy campaigns and vaccination campaigns developed to address the facts of poverty. Now, Dr. Dayamis reports, each child gets between twelve and sixteen vaccinations for such ailments as smallpox and hepatitis.

      In Havana’s Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), Dr. Merardo Pujol Ferrer tells us that the country has almost eradicated hepatitis B using a vaccine developed by their Center. That vaccine—Heberbiovac HB—has been administered to 70 million people around the world. “We believe that this vaccine is safe and effective,” he said. “It could help to eradicate hepatitis around the world, particularly in poorer countries.” All the children in her town are vaccinated against hepatitis, Dr. Dayamis says. “The health care system ensures that not one person dies from diarrhea or malnutrition, and not one person dies from diseases of poverty.”

      What ails the people of Palpite, Dr. Dayamis says, are now the diseases that one sees in richer countries. It is one of the paradoxes of Cuba, which remains a country of limited means—largely because of the U.S. government’s blockade of this island of 11 million people—and yet has transcended the diseases of poverty. The new illnesses that she says are hypertension and cardiovascular diseases as well as prostate and breast cancer. These problems, she points out, must be dealt with by public education, which is why she has a radio show on Radio Victoria de Girón, the local community station, each Thursday, called Education for Health.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

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