Abstract in English:ABSTRACT Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide, and a health problem in low- and middle-income as well as high-income countries. They also constitute the main cause of death in Latin America, with ischemic heart disease as the principal cause in most countries of the region. In Cuba, heart disease is the first cause of death, followed by cancer and stroke. In its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the UN recognizes the importance of chronic non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular diseases. Cuba has participated actively as lead partner in design and implementation of the two regional technical cooperation projects conducted over the last six years by the International Atomic Energy Agency to address cardiovascular diseases in Latin American and Caribbean member states. These projects have generated greater interest among participating countries in the use of myocardial perfusion for dilated cardiomyopathy and coronary artery disease compared to other imaging techniques; disseminated knowledge about nuclear cardiology techniques and clinical applications in heart failure and coronary artery disease; and made important contributions to implementing harmonized, appropriate and safe clinical protocols. Cuba’s contribution to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s regional cardiology projects has fostered development of human resources and harmonized protocols both nationally and regionally, and demonstrated the importance of region-based scientific cooperation that ensures greater opportunities and more equitable access to resources. This participation has also accrued important benefits to Cuba’s own nuclear cardiology program.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective interventions for control of communicable diseases. This health achievement could founder if measures are not taken by health systems to prioritize immunization, increase vaccination rates and educate health professionals to address public concerns about vaccine safety and efficacy. Parents’ refusal to vaccinate their children directly affects public health, because it puts both individual and group immunity in danger; immunization coverage is effective only when high population coverage is attained. The growing number of antivaccination (antivaxxer) groups around the world is alarming, contributing to falling vaccination rates. Troubling consequences include disease outbreaks in several countries globally and in our hemisphere. This article looks at the history and features of antivaxxer movements around the world and proposes ways the Cuban health system, through its National Immunization Program, can address dangers for the population associated with potentially negative influences of social-network antivaxxer campaigns. The paper underscores the role of mass and social media, health professional training and sustained competence, and the importance of a vaccine-related adverse events surveillance system.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT Health is a universal human right, which should be safeguarded by government responsibility and included in all social policies. Only as such it is possible to ensure effective responses to the health needs of an entire population. The Cuban Constitution recognizes the right to health, and the country’s single, free, universal public health system and high-level political commitment promote intersectorality as a strategy to address health problems. Intersectorality is reflected in national regulations that encourage participation by all social sectors in health promotion/disease prevention/treatment/rehabilitation policies and programs. The strategy has increased the response capacity of Cuba’s health system to face challenges in the national and international socioeconomic context and has helped improve the country’s main health indicators. New challenges (sociocultural, economic and environmental), due to their effects on the population’s health, well-being and quality of life, now require improved intersectoral coordination in the primary health care framework to sustain achievements made thus far.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT Growth and development is considered the best positive indicator of children’s quality of life and well-being. Studies have been carried out in Cuba since the early 20th century and large scale, periodic anthropometric surveys have been regularly conducted by its National Health System to chart modifications in growth patterns of children and adolescents. These surveys have produced national references for the anthropometric indicators most commonly applied in individual assessment of the health and nutritional status of children and adolescents in health care settings. These have also provided data for estimating the magnitude and characteristics of secular growth trends, and for comparing growth of Cuban children with that of children in other countries and with WHO’s proposed growth standards. The data have also served as evidence of persisting social gradients. The most important results include, as positive data, the positive secular trend in school-aged children’s growth of 9.7 cm between 1919 and 2005, with an average increase of 1.1 cm per decade, and, in preschool children, 1.9 and 1.8 cm in boys and girls, respectively, between 1972 and 2015. More recent studies have detected unfavorable changes associated with a marked increase in adiposity and, therefore, in the prevalence of excess weight and obesity. Another interesting result is the gradual movement toward WHO height-for-age standards in preschool children in Havana, verified in surveys conducted in 2005 and 2015.
Abstract in English:WHO’s 2015 End Tuberculosis Strategy can succeed only through universal health coverage, social protection, poverty alleviation and effective multisector actions to tackle social determinants in general. The pediatric age group is particularly vulnerable to tuberculosis and historically neglected worldwide. However, this group is a priority within Cuba’s National Tuberculosis Control Program that has functioned since 1970, and Cuba is considered a low-incidence country with rates <7 per 100,000 population since 2011. Tuberculosis incidence in children aged <15 years is <1 per 100,000, similar to that reported in high-income countries and representing less than 2% of total cases in Cuba. Since 1999, no deaths from tuberculosis, coinfection with HIV or resistance to the two first-line TB drugs have been reported in affected children, and most diagnosed cases correspond to early, primary forms of the disease. These results place Cuba among the countries on track to eliminate TB by 2050. This article reviews the pillars and components of the 2015 End TB Strategy and the strategies developed by the National Tuberculosis Control Program that enabled Cuba to bring incidence below the 2035 targets of WHO’s End TB strategy. The article also proposes other actions Cuba can take, despite limited resources, to eliminate TB, particularly in the pediatric age group.