78,000 Cubans Benefited from Operation Miracle

12-30-08, 9:41 am

HAVANA, Cuba, Dec 29 (acn) More than 78,000 Cubans were operated on from their eye problems in 2008, stated sources from the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) in Havana on Monday.

MINSAP Deputy Minister, Joaquin Garcia, told the press that, from July 2004 to date, more than 1,300,000 patients from 32 nations were operated on in Cuba and in the 59 eye hospitals donated by the archipelago to 15 states under the Cuban-Venezuelan Operation Miracle program, aimed at restoring or improving the vision of people with low resources.

Among other achievements, he mentioned the decrease of infant mortality, and the elimination of another nine infectious diseases, which are no longer a health problem.

He highlighted the good condition of health of the Cuban population, with indicators similar to those of rich countries but, unlike them, with a tendency toward social homogeneity, free health care, and the availability of health services for all citizens.

He announced that 2008 will close with an infant mortality rate below five per every 1,000 live births.

Another ten Cuban pharmaceuticals were registered in 2008. Among the results of the scientific area are 91 projects and products aimed at health care, 33 of them related to therapeutic vaccines, added the top official.

Garcia said that the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology already has 140 patents, while the Center for Molecular Immunology has 120. He highlighted the internationalist concept of the Cuban health system, which now has 72,000 doctors. He also made reference to 1959, when Cuba was left with only 3,000 doctors after the exodus encouraged by Washington.

From 1961 to date, some 185,000 health professionals and technicians have fulfilled internationalist missions in 103 Third World nations.

Also outstanding is the massive training of human resources in this field, for Cuba and for other regions of the planet.

Among other specialties, some 96,000 physicians, about 14,000 dentists, over 37, 000 infirmary graduates and 1,200 health technicians have graduated in Cuba since 1959.

From the Cuban News Agency