This Monday, Cuba's Minister of Public Health, Dr. José Angel Portal Miranda, spoke at the 76th World Health Assembly, where he reaffirmed the nation's willingness to put its experiences at the service of humanity.
He highlighted the results of Cuban Public Health and denounced the impact caused by the economic, commercial and financial blockade of the United States on the largest of the Antilles.
Below we reproduce completely the words of the Cuban Minister of Health on this day.
Dear Director General;
More than seven decades of saving lives and promoting health for all is a fact that deserves to be celebrated and we do so. Since its foundation in 1948, the World Health Organization has contributed much to heal the world we were then, marked by the recently concluded deadliest conflict in history.
Much has changed in the world in these 75 years, and with it our Organization. That is why we must also look at this new anniversary as an opportune moment to analyze challenges and perspectives, in order to continue improving the health of all, in a context where the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic is increasingly evident.
Evaluating the multiple lessons learned from the confrontation with the virus and implementing actions accordingly are extremely urgent priorities for our health systems on the path to strengthening them.
What we have experienced in recent years shows that humanity needs more than ever resilient health systems, with the capacity to move towards universal health coverage, guaranteeing the right to health for all and the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Special attention must continue to be paid to the effects of climate change, which requires the design and implementation of comprehensive action plans that allow the monitoring and analysis of its real consequences.
At the same time, there is an urgent need to promote actions aimed at addressing and minimizing the risks to people's health posed by social determinants, the existence of which may condition the emergence of new health emergencies in certain contexts.
El hacer de hoy, marcará el futuro que podamos legar a las próximas generaciones
Reversing the behavior of essential indicators such as maternal and child health, vaccination coverage and the control of non-communicable diseases, in which a setback has been observed during the last period, requires the joint effort of all member states.
These are realities whose emergence has been conditioned by the international economic order imposed on the world, which commoditizes access to health services, instead of guaranteeing them as an inalienable right to all human beings.
Public Health in Cuba is a right of all people and it is the responsibility of the State to guarantee access, free of charge and quality of care, protection and recovery services, with a profound concept of solidarity and universal coverage.
In these bases, which support the work of the National Health System, we find in Cuba the greatest strengths to successfully face the complex scenario brought about by the arrival of COVID-19.
The capacity of our health system to adapt to the different moments of the country's development, as well as to the population's health care needs, was of utmost importance.
Among many other elements, health management during that difficult period was based on access to innovative drugs, the result of the development of the Cuban biopharmaceutical industry.
Five vaccine candidates were created, three of which were converted into vaccines that made it possible to carry out an unprecedented national vaccination campaign, which made it possible to immunize more than 98% of the vaccine-eligible Cuban population over two years of age.
The control we achieved of COVID-19 was not an easy task for Cuba. In addition to facing the devastating consequences of the epidemic, we also had to deal with the intensification of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States Government, to which was added the arbitrary designation of my country as a State sponsor of terrorism.
These are facts that have caused, and continue to cause, an unquestionable brake on the development and strengthening of the National Health System in all its areas of action, limiting access to treatments, supplies and first-line equipment that would benefit the Cuban population.
In an international context where integration and cooperation are increasingly essential to bring health services to underprivileged nations and territories, the Cuban Health System is proud that in the last 60 years more than 600 thousand collaborators have provided medical care in 164 nations.
Cuba, which has managed to comply with the principle of "health for all" and consolidate a resilient health system, places its experience and knowledge at the disposal of the World Health Organization and all its member states.
Strengthening and improving the health systems of our countries are challenges on which we have an obligation to work constantly and with total responsibility, in order to achieve real access to health services for all people. What we do today will mark the future that we can bequeath to the next generations.
Thank you very much.
Taken from Minsap.