WHO praises Cuba's health care system

WHO praises Cuba's health care system


PhilStar.com: Cuba's health care system has a lot to teach the world, the deputy head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday during a visit to the Caribbean island nation.

WHO Deputy Director General Dr. Anarfi Asamoa-Baah praised Cuba's health care standards and held the island's universal health care system as a model for other countries to emulate.

Asamoa-Baah is part of a visiting delegation of health experts, including WHO Director General Dr. Margaret Chan, Regional Director for Africa Dr. Luis Sambo, and Shin Young-Soo, regional director for the Western Pacific, who were to attend the first-ever meeting of the agency's regional directors held in Havana.

During a tour Monday of scientific institutions in Cuba, the WHO deputy director said he was impressed by the nation's "well integrated" health care system at all levels.

Asamoa-Baah praised the fact that all Cubans have free access to high-quality, high-tech health services and applauded the country's ongoing campaigns to eradicate communicable diseases.

He also praised the work of Cuban health care workers in more than 32 countries and the medical training offered by Cuban universities to thousands of students from around the world.

The WHO experts expressed particular interest in Cuba's biotech industry, which has developed vaccines to fight cancer and other diseases, and Cuban medical products are marketed in over 40 countries.

The WHO delegation is scheduled to meet Thursday with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez and tour the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Havana.

On Friday, the group will attend the closing ceremony of the Congress of Geriatrics and Gerontology.

Advanced universal health care and education in Cuba are two of the main achievements of the Socialist Revolution launched in 1959 by former Cuban leader Fidel Castro.