A Convention to Support the Future
Multiple experiences and many other challenges were the result of the intense days of activities that took place last week in Havana, as part of the International Convention "Cuba-Health 2022".
24 October, 2022 by
A Convention to Support the Future
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By: Dr. José Angel Portal Miranda. Minister of Public Health

Multiple experiences and many other challenges were the result of the intense days of activities that took place last week in Havana, as part of the International Convention "Cuba-Health 2022". They were five fruitful days of work in which each shared space confirmed how much more we can advance in the protection of life if we all work together in this endeavor.

The attendance on this occasion of 44 high-level delegations -representing Health Ministries and Secretariats from all continents, 15 of them chaired by Ministers-, as well as representatives from 64 countries from all over the world, United Nations agencies, international scientific organizations and various societies, is a sign of the support and relevance given to the multiple activities that took place in this prestigious international event, the largest one systematically carried out by Cuban Public Health.

Why hold an event of such magnitude in the current economic context of the nation? This is a question that many could ask themselves at this time. These are the essentials that define what we do in Cuba: not promoting the knowledge of our health professionals would mean to jeopardize the future of science and thus, in many ways, jeopardizing the future of Cuban public health as well.

It would be unforgivable to allow the economic limitations that still exist today to condition the development of the knowledge of our professionals. It is urgent and essential to continue incorporating lines of development in the country that will allow us to strengthen and improve the National Health System.

Four years after the previous Cuba-Health International Convention was held, this new edition became a very useful space for our professionals to share experiences, not only among themselves, but also with those from other countries and in different branches of knowledge.

Many were the experiences shared about the work carried out in the most recent years which, in spite of being considered among the most challenging experienced by the Health sector in the last decades, have not prevented our professionals from researching and innovating to continue searching for answers to the most pressing problems in the health of the Cuban population.

The multiple economic limitations that impact our sector -as a result of the world crisis caused by the epidemic of HIV/AIDS-19 and the intensification of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the Government of the United States-, and which are reflected in the current deficit of medicines, medical supplies and other resources, have not prevented at any time to enhance the scientific development of the National Health System: precisely on that development also depends the future.

These days of exchanges and analysis of the realities that distinguish the work of different health systems in pursuit of Health also ratified how much the organization and performance of our Health System, which continues to be a reference for many of the nations that have not yet managed to achieve universal health coverage for their people, is recognized in the world.

In this important scientific event, delegates and participants also ratified the value of the support they have received in their countries from our health professionals: solidarity is and will continue to be an indissoluble principle of our sector and the Cuban Revolution.
In addition to the activities of the Convention, the XV Commercial Fair "Health for All" and the I Medical Tourism and Wellness Fair were also held, which were attended by several international suppliers and became spaces for renewing contracts that allow providing the National Health System with resources that are currently in deficit.

In the context of both events, several suppliers were generous enough to donate to the country the equipment they brought with them, which will be put at the service of different health institutions throughout the country. I would also like to acknowledge that many of the participating companies have kept their relations with Cuba intact despite the difficult economic situation the country is going through.

On behalf of the Ministry of Public Health, I am grateful for the support given to this important health event by the delegations that participated in it, as well as by our scientists. The conferences, symposiums, colloquiums and other multiple activities that we carried out are part of the support that our country is giving to science from all spheres of society.
Our gratitude also goes to the organizations, companies and entities that ensured the organization of this Convention, as well as to the highest authorities of the country for the support granted to this important event.

The experiences shared by delegates and guests, in addition to the contributions they represent for the National Health System, ratify that, even though many governments and national and international organizations have placed Health at the epicenter of their attention, the responses required by the various health challenges that threaten the planet have not yet been achieved. These are urgent answers that cannot be found in an isolated manner, but require the joint efforts of all.

There are still many battles to be fought in pursuit of health, as well as many strategies to be assumed and actions to be shared, if we want to reach the year 2030 with the health indicators that humanity needs.

Let us do everything possible to improve the health of people and the planet. If all countries unite in pursuit of the health of the people, we will have the resources and knowledge to achieve this. Let us take advantage of these strengths and not allow the ambition of a few to continue putting the lives of all at risk.

Translate from the original published in Minsap

A Convention to Support the Future
CSMC, S.A 24 October, 2022
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