January 13, 2023

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when thinking about Cuba?

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Cuba is often colorful convertibles, long sandy beaches and dance, but in the world of medicine, Cuba is something quite remarkable. This country is known for its exceptionally high standard of healthcare, as seen in the number of doctors per capita, with almost every 100th inhabitant being a doctor, along with other healthcare staff. Their expertise, innovation, and dedication are best seen through their successes in the development of their own drugs and therapies.

That’s why we visited Cuba, and decided to donate medical uniforms to the “Hermanos Ameijeiras” hospital in Havana. We donated uniforms for doctors and nurses, which is only a small contribution compared to the overall successes of Cuban healthcare, but we believe it will be of great benefit to the hospital staff and help them to be even more dedicated to their work.

Healthcare in Cuba is completely free, only medications are paid, but unfortunately, the conditions are quite modest. Doctors work with less than basic equipment, the number of available drugs is limited, and prices are negotiated – by bargaining. Medicine students are sent to the hospital from the very beginning of their studies to familiarize themselves with patients and learn from real examples. Nevertheless, Cubans are one of the longest-lived nations in the world, and the answer lies in prevention. Problems are tried to be solved before they occur, and that is why many Cubans live to their 90s.

Cuba is the only economically underdeveloped country that has succeeded in developing its own Covid-19 vaccine. In addition, the first country in the world to successfully eliminate HIV transmission from mother to child and Cuban doctors have provided assistance in more than 600,000 humanitarian actions in more than 170 countries.

Cuban doctors and scientists have also been extremely successful in developing therapies to prevent amputation of extremities in patients with diabetes. In fact, they developed a therapy that has saved more than 250,000 people from around the world from this situation.

One of the greatest successes of Cuban medicine is certainly the development of immunotherapy for the treatment of cancer. Cubans have been working in this field since the 80s of the last century. The Cuban drug Vidatox is obtained from the extract of the blue scorpion venom. It is used for treating cancer, exported to over 30 countries, and it is considered as one of the major achievements of Cuban medicine.

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