Cuba Works to Eliminate Tuberculosis

Cuba Works to Eliminate Tuberculosis Havana, Mar 21. – Cuba works to achieve the elimination of tuberculosis, a curable and preventable disease, that is still a health problem the world, said Tuesday Josefa Llanes, Coordinator of the national program on the condition.

Control strategies and treatment of the condition developed in the country since the beginning of the Revolution, which allowed the country to reach the low rates of infection that have been recorded in recent years ((6.9 per 100,000 inhabitants), and will facilitate achieving new goals, Llanes said at a news conference.

Our challenge is to further reduce the number of cases, and we agree with the goal of the World Health Organization (WHO) to put an end to Tuberculosis in our generation, Llanes said.

This is a difficult objective, but in Cuba it can be achieved because the country has all the necessary infrastructure, laboratory networks and coverage of free treatment in all areas of health, which since 1971 is characterized by strict supervision by the family doctor and nurse, Llanes added.

Llanes said that currently on the planet, there are about eight million patients a year and two million people still die from this cause. The least affected countries today are the USA, Canada, Cuba, Chile, Uruguay, and Costa Rica.

Antonio Marrero Figueroa, member of the Group of Respiratory Diseases, Ministry of Public Health, stressed that Tuberculosis is preventable and curable, but emphasized the need for early diagnosis to prevent transmission.

Referring to the protection by vaccines, Marrero said that in today's world there is no efficient universal immunological treatment that protects in all ages for life. The BCG vaccine protects in the early years of life and from severe forms of the disease.

There are several vaccine candidates in advanced stages of research, and Cuba in particular is working on its own project in this regard, said Marrero.(Prensa Latina)