Articles / Health / Health / National Immunization Programme, a Guarantee of Human Rights in Cuba
Monday, February 27, 2012
National Immunization Programme, a Guarantee of Human Rights in Cuba
The 51st massive polio immunization campaign is about to begin in Cuba. This time more than 500,000 children will be immunized against an illness that before 1959 affected nearly 300 children annually and was a serious public health problem.
The first campaign began on February 26, 1962 and three months later the country reported its last case.
But polio was not the only illness eliminated in the island nation; others like malaria, whooping cough, German measles, neonatal tetanus, diphtheria, measles and mumps meningitis brought no more suffering and death to the Cuban family.
Besides other ailments such as lockjaw, Haemophilus influenzae type B, Hepatitis B and meningitis reported incidence rates so low that they were no longer a public health problem.
After setting up and improving the National Immunization Programme in the westernmost island of the Caribbean, all people under age 62 are protected against 13 illnesses and people do not have to pay anything for this.
At present there are 11 immunobiological compounds available in the island -eight of which are made in its own labs - and one of Cuba’s merits is that it was the first underdeveloped nation that developed a pentavalent vaccine (five vaccines in one) and has made progress with other immunobiological compounds.
The National Immunization Programme is part of the primary health care and it favours the whole population, with the help of grass-root and non-governmental organizations such as the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR) and the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC).
Some 3 million children around the world die today because of polio, while other suffer from devastating injuries caused by this illness, including atrophy, however a lot of people and resources get involved in the Cuban programme to take to the furthest corners of our land those "little drops" that guarantee the future of our society.
This is an indisputable fact: Isn't this a major commitment with human rights?
Airam Fernández Casas / Radio Cadena Agramonte.