US delegation dialogues with Cuban health authorities

Marcia Cobas Ruiz, Cuba’s deputy minister of public health, welcomed a delegation of 24 Americans, led by Rosa Luisa DeLauro, U.S. Democratic representative for the third congressional district of Connecticut,  and William DeLahunt, president of the political consulting firm DeLahunt and former Massachusetts Democratic congressman.

Havana, Oct 4 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Deputy Minister of Public Health Marcia Cobas received a delegation of 24 Americans interested in the island’s progress in this sphere, according to a press release this Friday.

Led by Congresswoman Rosa Luisa DeLauro, Democrat representative for Connecticut’s 3rd congressional district, and William Delahunt, chairman of the Delahunt Group consulting firm and former Democrat legislator for Massachusetts, the delegation learned about the main results of the National Health System and Cuba’s international medical collaboration.

They also received information on the work done by Cuban doctors who carry out internationalist missions in 65 countries.

We are interested in two things: listening and learning from all the wonderful work you do, stated DeLauro after expressing gratitude for the meeting, as well as the training that Cuba offers to US doctors through the Latin American School of Medicine.

As a cancer survivor, the congresswoman is interested in expanding research on this topic, and other diseases such as diabetes.

During the meeting, the National Director of the Cancer Control Program, Maria Caridad Rubio, presented to the delegation the main lines of work of this Program of the Cuban Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP).

It was recalled that Cuba has two Memoranda of Understanding signed in 2016 between then Cuban Minister of Health, Roberto Morales, and the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, at that time Sylvia Burwell, for collaboration between the two countries in the area of cancer control, research, surveillance, monitoring and evaluation.

MINSAP National Director of International Relations, Nestor Marimon, recalled that after the signing of these memoranda, various cooperation projects were carried out and exchanges of delegations and specialists related to the subject of cancer.

However, as of 2017, with the new US administration, these exchanges have been paralyzed. ‘Despite this new government with its aggressive policy towards Cuba, we remain willing to cooperate and promote exchanges between both nations,’ the official stressed.

At the same time, he explained that progress is being made in the introduction of the Cuban vaccine against lung cancer in the US, which has not been possible in the case of Heberprot-P, a novel and unique medicine proscribed for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers, to which the US population does not have access.

From Congress, we could work to expand the exchanges between the two countries. It is an issue that we will take with us and we will work on, DeLauro added.

Meanwhile, the Cuban deputy minister offered examples of the impact of current US policy towards Cuba on the health sector and its international medical collaboration.

She also referred to the most recent event of this type – the refusal to grant visas to the Cuban delegation headed by Minister Jose Angel Portal, which was to participate in the 57th Directing Council meeting of the Pan American Health Organization, of which Cuba is a member country.

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