Cuba is a West Indies country, the largest and most influential in the Caribbean region. The country is dominated by Arawakan speaking people and famous for raw sugar production. The country has overtime progressed in systems, institutions and people-based policies since it was claimed for Spain in 1492. The island of archipelago has a functional education structure and well systemized medical education which is not only leading in the Caribbean region but globally recognized.
Since inception of its medical education in 1999, Cuba has developed medical institutions with state of the heart infrastructure, medical resources and teaching-learning medical luminaries. Cuba tops among most sought after medical schools in the world and has earned a high badge in global ranking with Universidad de La Habana, Ciudad Universitaria Jose Antonio Encheverria, Universidad de Oriente Santiago de Cuba, Universidad de Cienfuegos Carlos Rafael Rodriguez, Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina, Universidad de Ciencias Medicas de Villa Clara and Universidad de Ciencias Medicas de Cienfuegos leading in medical education. Cuba has an age long excellent record in medicine education and the 285 years of medical teaching has birthed over 100,000 professionally trained medical experts from 80 countries in the world.
The integrity and globally respected medical ingenuity in Cuba are demonstrated in the production of COVID-19 vaccines and its thorough administration in the island country. The Caribbean island produced Abdala, Soberana and Mambisa to prevent the prevalence of coronavirus. Cuba’s production of the vaccines becomes a testament to the high-flying medical experts and research ongoing on the island. The vaccine successful production helped Cuban authorities achieve low death rate at the full-blown virality of COVID-19; recording 146 deaths in 11.2 million country population.
Cuban medical schools are making high strides in cutting-edge research and result-focused learning because the country prioritizes education and authorities support intensive research especially in medical fronts. The freedom for scalable medical research in Cuba has been a consistent handling of epidemic and pandemic in the country which has gained worldwide recognition including endorsement from World Health Organization (WHO). Medical education in Cuba is practical-oriented and involves the integration of research-backed medical theories and principles into real-time and practice-supported medical teaching and learning.
Doctor of Medicine in Cuba
Training for the Doctor of Medicine in Cuba comes with attaining a Spanish proficiency for non-Spanish speakers. Students can take a proficiency test in Spanish to meet the language requirement. Spanish learning is foundational in Cuban medical school and useful for teaching, learning, interaction purposes at the medical school and graduate practice. The training for Doctor of Medicine in Cuba takes 6 years plus a one-year Spanish training for non-Spanish speakers. A bachelor degree in medicine prepares students for medical profession that is cherished beyond the Caribbean island. Cuba boasts of doctors in their hundreds who are on exchange programs in different countries including helping to widen medical reach in Brazil and Venezuela—the well-trained medical doctors from Cuba excel at these exchange programs mostly international. Cuba’s record of high-ranked medical education and schooling resources are traceable to the revolution of Fidel Castro which has remained a game changer in the history of the most influential country in the Caribbean region.
In noting the legacy of excellence in Cuba’s doctor of medicine program, a study conducted on Cuba-trained South African doctors showed that, the students turning doctors were exposed to the core of medicine and they had practical medical experiences in the program. Cuba’s medical education is considered useful for South Africa especially in rural health care, community medical reach, tuberculosis and HIV diagnosis and care.
Doctor of Medicine Curriculum in Cuba
The doctor of medicine program in Cuba progresses from the Family Doctor Programme dominated between 1980 and 1990 to the modern medical education curriculum. The Family Doctor Programme was centered around using individuals and members of the community to support medical teams. This idea of collective medicine was targeted at preventing diseases and responding to the growing medical demands in Cuba. Primary health care was at the fore of the educational design and a community-based medical structure was adopted. The implementation of neighborhood-centered medical system initiated the use of hubs for medical consultation attending to 20 to 40 patients. Social institutions were targets of the medical system and doctors were trained mainly for epidemic prevention and need-based treatment. Cuban’s medical system was overstretched and meeting the public medical demand was difficult.
To attend to the overbearing nature of medicinal need in Cuba, doctor of medicine curriculum was revised to cater more for the public and strengthen health institutions, facilitators and students in medical industry. The revised curriculum births the University Polyclinic Project.
The University Polyclinic Project began in 2003 and has transcended in achievement, the medical records of the prior ‘what and how’ of medical education in the country. PPU is a 6-year program that integrates general medicine into surgeries, primary health care, hospital management, basic sciences, clinical sciences, and morpho physiology. Morpho physiology is a combination of biomedical sciences which include molecular biology, physiology, anatomy, histology, embryology, and pathology among others. PPU has created a medical education that allows students move from one learning level to another; combining theories and practical, and practicing classroom knowledge on the field. Medical students are placed under medical tutors who supervise them as they practice medicinal skills in hospitals and health care centers; this has fast-tracked access to doctors in Cuba and grossly improved health and medical sustainability in Cuba. Updated and modern medical resources are utilized by seasoned medical teachers to bring medical students to real-time and globally-demanded medical skills. Students are trained with research intensive resources and tools including audios, videos, seminars, workshops, independent analysis and group studies. Pedagogic and language training are included in the final level of Cuba medical education; targeted at effective patient-doctor communication in practice.
The 6-year medical education under PPU in Cuba begins from morpho physiology to family medicine to philosophy and health, clinical medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, public health, traumatology, forensic medicine and surgery. The medical education structure has remained progressively strong and continues to put Cuba on the world map.
Why Cuba is the best Place for Medical Education
Cuban medical education creates space for all students to learn without fear or racial discrimination. The accommodation of all students without preferential treatment has placed Cuban medical schools in the to-go list among schools in the Caribbean region. Fidel Castro’s initiative of free medical education for Afro-indigenous and less privileged Americans has reformed the country’s education system and position it globally. Black and Latino students are admitted to Cuban medical schools on merits and they make up to 6 percent of annual medical graduates in the country. Cuba’s excellence in the doctor of medicine program is reflected in the pluralized access to medical care in the country—shown during the COVID-19 pandemic especially with rapid public enlightenment and vaccination. Cuban authorities delight in the medical system and education of the country because, the island country rivals the United States in life expectancy rate while having a lower child-mortality rate when compared with the US.
Cuba has built a long-standing reputation in strategically turning problems to solutions. Problem to solution repute of Cuba is seen in the authorities turning the US economic restrictions to medicinal and public health advantages. Rather than struggle due to inadequate access to medical facilities, Cuban authorities facilitated strengthened and early diagnosis for medical cases; helping to implement preventive measures in combating ailments. Cuba has a practical and solution-centric medical education system and this was during the pandemic where medical students were deployed for contact tracing and trained for vaccination. Engaging medical students for medical care during the pandemic shows how the country prioritizes hands-on learning in medicinal treatment.
Communities and rural areas in most countries have high record of less medical attention. The case is different in Cuba because rural settlements are centralized locations for medical practice and internships in Cuba. Rather than have students cluster in the urban, medical tutors allow students move from one house to another in specified community to reach out to people—as students gain wider medical experience from human and real practices, Cuban residents get effective and near-free access to medical care.
Dreaming of attaining medical education in a globally recognized institution? Then, Cuba is your right choice. The island country leads in doctor of medicine program that is people-centered and tops among contenders. Less privileged but diligent high performing students are catered for in Cuba with the Latin American Medical School that comes at no cost.
The world was definitely a very different place 60 years ago. Cuba, a small but proud country, was trying to find its position on the world’s map in times of geopolitical conflicts between the East and the West. Having a relatively small population compared to its neighbors, Cuba couldn’t hope to secure its position by investing in the military. Instead, they chose a different national diplomatic strategy and made an army of medical specialists. This approach has given Cuba a leading role in the battle for the world’s health up to this day. For 60 years, Cuba has been educating and deploying doctors all around the world to fight against diseases in underserviced areas. It all started with deploying health professionals in Chile after the devastating earthquake in 1960. Today, there are more than 4,000 Cuban health workers in 32 African countries fighting Ebola, cholera, tuberculosis, AIDS, and malaria.
The Cuban health education and training are based on a holistic approach focusing on a combination of healthcare, profound humanistic values, social justice, and community health. Because of this approach, Cuba has a life expectancy rate on par with the US, at the same time spending on healthcare 20 times less.
In 2014, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sent a statement to the officials at the Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina (ELAM) in Havana, hailing Cuba for training medical ‘Miracle Workers’ and being on frontlines of global health. In the statement, Secretary-General pointed out that ELAM did more than training doctors:
“I have seen it for myself. As Secretary-General of the United Nations, I travel to many difficult places; desperate places hit hard by earthquakes, hurricanes, or other natural disasters; remote places of deep deprivation; forgotten places far off many people’s radar of concerns. And so many times in these different communities, I have seen the same thing. Doctors from Cuba — or doctors trained in Cuba — helping and healing. Your doctors are with communities through thick and thin: before disasters strike, throughout crises and long after storms have passed. They are often the first to arrive and the last to leave. For those students who cannot come to Cuba, you are also helping to establish medical schools from Bolivia to Eritrea to Timor-Leste. ELAM has trained tens of thousands of students, but Cuba can teach the entire world about health care. I want to join so many others in saluting Cuba’s healthcare system, rooted in primary health care, which has yielded outstanding results — lower infant mortality, higher life expectancies, universal coverage. This is a model for many countries around the world. Through initiatives such as Operación Milagro, Cuban-trained doctors have saved or improved eyesight for millions of people in dozens of countries. You have helped them to see, but you have also given the world vision; a vision of generosity, solidarity, and global citizenship. I am very proud to see it for myself. And I thank you for sharing it with the world.”
Statement fully available at: https://www.un.org/press/en/2014/sgsm15619.doc.htm
Counting all medical training programs established by ELAM medical graduates, the Republic of Cuba has the world’s largest medical school. Currently, medical students from more than 100 countries all around the world are doing their medical training in Cuba.
The Cuban Medical Education Program
The program is modeled after the European medical schools. This means it would take a student six years to become a medical doctor in Cuba as opposed to 4 years of training in the US and Canada. In terms of knowledge, this means two extra years of clinical rotations under the supervision of medical professors. The medical school focuses on a wholesome approach: it addresses the biological, psychological, and social aspects of health and disease. Most of the time, a student is at the patient’s bedside and makes house-calls during the training. This way, the students get a unique perspective to healthcare – they learn to recognize and handle all challenges a doctor faces in everyday medical practice from top to bottom of the healthcare system.
The first-year studies involve basic methodology and integrated medicine courses. The second year of medical school is composed of anatomy, pathology, physiology, microbiology, genetics, in addition to psychological and social studies. During this time, a student learns about basic principles of human biology and psychology, fundamentals of healthcare system organization, and disease prevention — all that through the scope of data-driven and evidence-based approach.
In later years of training, students attend clinical rotations and start practicing medicine under the supervision of their professors.
During these six years, no student is left unattended. Professors are available 24/7, group sessions are a commonplace, and students are stimulated to collaborate on various projects during the training. This way, students learn to develop strong professional relationships, a high sense of belonging, and lifelong friendships with their colleagues and professors. In short, Cuban medical school promotes the universal approach where all benefit.
Students who want to pursue a medical career in the US, just like their peers in the US medical schools will have to pass the United States Medical Licensing Exam® (USMLE). In this regard, the Cuban medical graduates perform outstandingly. The US residents who studied medicine in Cuba achieve a match rate of 94%. In other words, sky is the limit for them. Furthermore, the Cuban medical educational institutions are approved by the “California State Medical Licensing Board,” the most stringent in the United States.
Cuban medical school delivers knowledge, and it seems they know how to make students acquire the knowledge. In terms of cost-effectiveness, it is not for free, but the entire medical training comes at a price that’s one-fifteenth of the price in the US. While the cost of the medical program in the US, which includes tuition, fees, books, and interest on loans, reaches up to $1,000,000.00, in Cuba, it is just $73,000. Let’s put it this way- medical training in the US requires about 8-10 annual specialist salaries. In Cuba, it costs 6-8 specialist monthly wages.
The social and cultural life of students during their education flourishes, and its uniqueness is almost unmatched. Cuba possesses rich cultural history adorned by astonishing architecture, but what really makes it stand out is its people, their customs and way of life. In that sense, this place can be described as Heaven on Earth. Cubans focus on what really matters in life – love, friendship, solidarity and unity. These days, there are not many places on the planet left where a person can learn about the values that make us humans. Cuba is one of those few spots for sure!
One of the most important life processes for every adult is sleep. A good night’s rest on a comfortable surface is vital for survival and effective living. The recommended hours of sleep for an adult ranges from seven (7) to nine (9) hours every day with six (6) hours being the permissible minimum. Adults are advised to keep to this time in order to give the body enough time to rest and revitalize after seventeen hours of stretched-out activities without catching a break. Enough sleep is mandatory for healthy living. Sleep deprivation ensues when an individual is not receiving the recommended adequate amount of sleep. This is a severe condition with several risk factors and effects, especially on the brain. However, before examining thoroughly the effects of sleep deprivation on the brain, let’s consider the following reasons why sleep is important;
Importance Of Sleep
The revitalization of Body Cellular Functions
During the day, our body cells are active and working tirelessly to maintain body cellular functions without a break. Therefore like machines are privy to break down after tireless work, so is the human body system. In order to revitalize the body and promote restoration of body cells and tissues including the muscles. When humans sleep, their muscles repair themselves, with organs and cells working to revitalize and heal for proper functionality when awake and active.
Conservation of Energy
The body utilizes ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) the energy currency of the cell during active hours. Without a break, there will be a continuous depletion of the body’s energy and most of the body’s energy will be redirected towards repair activities and conservation.
Regulate Brain Function
The brain functions to control different bodily actions. Thinking and work keep the brain active during the day and at night, the brain has time to relax from external stress when we sleep. Contrary to what most individuals think, the brain is active even while asleep. Sleeping aids to regulate brain function. There is active communication with neurons and toxins are removed from the brain during sleep.
Effects Of Sleep On The Brain
Sleep is important for a number of reasons as discussed earlier. Without sleep, the brain components would not act properly and will affect many bodily functions. Obesity and depression are only but a few adverse effects of not sleeping as it affects specific brain function relating to the body system processes. There are different causes of sleep deprivation including sleep orders (restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy, and sleep apnea), chronic illnesses (cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and schizophrenia) and these could lead to a variety of long-term effects. Here are the outlined effects of sleep on the brain;
Impairment of Brain Function
During sleep as mentioned previously, the brain cells, chemicals, and components all stay active to remove toxins, conserve energy and revitalize the body functions. If sleep is deprived and the brain doesn’t get the chance to perform these functions, there could be an impairment in the activities carried out while awake. It has been researched and observed that without adequate sleep, the development of poor memory, bad focus, and inability to pay proper attention will occur. The mental capacity of the brain will be subject to depletion in capabilities without sleep. Sleep deprivation reduces attention span and ability to think properly.
Reduction of Immunity
Loss of sleep will affect immunity and subject the body and brain to reduced immunity. The brain and the immune system are closely related to the manner in which they act. The shared signals between the immune system and brain through the nerve endings, neurotransmitters, and modulators aids the immune system to release chemicals that will boost the body’s defense. The brain cycle following the circadian clock follows through affecting the immune system in the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines that’ll improve the defense against foreign bodies. Sleep deprivation will affect this neuroimmune response. The body and brain will be vulnerable to infection without adequate sleep.
Without sleep, it has been discovered that the connection between the prefrontal cortex and the brain’s emotional processing centers will be disrupted. A disruption in this process will lead to impairment and an increase in emotions. This leads to hypersensitivity that affects the way a sleep-deprived person will react. Without sleep, individuals become more irrational, sensitive, and highly irritable. Without adequate sleep, the functionality of the brain is affected including the components responsible for the control of human emotions. The neurons are unable to function properly creating an easy pathway for a reduction in cognitive abilities.
Increased Risk of Obesity and Eating Disorders Due To Disruption in Hormone Production
There is a risk of obesity when sleep deprivation is introduced. Studies have shown that without sleep the production of hormones that regulate hunger and satisfaction are disrupted. Without adequate sleep Ghrelin which is responsible for the regulation of hunger, rises while leptin responsible for satisfaction reduces. As the feeling of hunger increases, the body’s natural reaction is to source more food which over time will lead to obesity and sleep disorders.
Insomnia disrupts brain function and increases the risk of depression. There are studies which have linked lack of sleep to depression in individuals. In fact, to treat depression, adequate sleep is always prescribed. The impairment in brain function caused by lack of sleep, there will be instability in the emotions of the individual causing erratic behavior and depression in some cases.
In time, if sleep deprivation continues, the value of life will continue to reduce drastically and death is in fact, imminent. The body is a system that must be managed and although it seems like a wasteful activity, adequate sleep is necessary. Without sleep, the brain will lead the immune system, the heart, the metabolic system, and a myriad of other bodily systems to misbehave. Staying healthy is keeping the brain healthy and sleeping is a necessity. Sleep deprivation could lead to death if left untreated. Stay in good health with proper sleep at the right time, with the right specified hours.
Since the production of the recombinant human form in the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology of Havana, Cuba, in 1986 Interferon Alfa 2-B antiviral drug has broken barriers in public health as an active therapy against causal agents of diseases. an antiviral and antineoplastic drug used to treat a myriad of virus-borne infectious diseases. The drug, actin as an immune system booster, is simply a recombinant form of the human protein interferon alpha-2 reproduced outside of the body by recombinant DNA technology, exploiting microorganism fast growth.
The history of Interferon Alfa 2-B, in Cuban health history, remains prominent as it was the groundbreaking technology that led to the end of hemorrhagic dengue fever outbreak in the country in the 1980s, igniting the rise of the biopharmaceutical sector. Till today, Interferon Alpha 2-B remains a prominent tool in the treatment and elimination of several diseases and has been more recently used to fight and combat the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic.
How Interferon Alfa 2-B Works
As earlier indicated, Interferon Alfa 2-B is a recombinant form of a protein in the human body that naturally works to fight off viruses in the body. The drug works as a stimulator of the immune system and is classified under medicine as an immunotherapeutic agent. Since Interferon Alfa 2-B is a copy of a naturally occurring human protein belonging to the cytokines family, it mimics and acts the way the original protein does.
The function of Interferon Alfa 2-B when administered is to boost the immune system and assist it in fighting off foreign harmful agents. It is a communicator offering assistance to the immune system for an elongated period due to the presence of polyethylene glycol, bound to it. This act of immunotherapy as an immunotherapy treatment is what makes it useful in the treatment of cancer.
Uses of Interferon Alfa 2-B
Interferon Alfa 2-B is used in various ways to fight off several illnesses. With viral diseases, the therapeutic agent has so far been successful in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C and B. It is a popular drug in the treatment of cancer and found useful in fighting and eliminating AIDS-related Kaposi sarcoma, leukaemia, melanoma (cancerous tumours), some genital warts, and hairy cell leukaemia, amongst others.
The drug aids and upregulates the action of antibody stimulation proteins and presenting cells to act against viral proteins and improve health. It can stay in the body longer than typical interferon alfa-b. It enhances the target specificity of macrophages to trap and eliminate viral genetic material and enhances the immune system to act properly. The natural nature of the drug’s mechanism of action makes it very useful in medicine with little possibility of toxicity at the right dosage.
Interferon Alfa 2-B in Treating Covid-19
As the world battled with Covid-19, scientists from all over the world struggled to find a therapeutic solution to reduce the effect of the deadly virus in claiming lives. In Cuba, Interferon Alpha 2-B was a solution which showed considerable promise. During premilinary cohort studies of the efficacy of interferon alfa 2-B on individuals infected with Covid-19, it was discovered that recovery in patients who had received the drug was significantly better than in patients that didn’t receive it as part of their treatment.
As a natural antiviral drug and immune booster, Interferon Alfa 2-B was a lifesaver to the public health sector of Cuba and nations around the world that adopted the drug. Although improvements were seen and experienced, its use in treating coronavirus was not without controversy and criticism.
Critics remained skeptical and indicated that very minimal studies have been conducted on the efficacy of Interferon Alfa 2-B towards eliminating Covid-19. There was also little evidence that long term use of the drug did not pose a future threat to the health of people. The critics even argued that the side effects of the treatment were quite similar to the background symptoms of the Coronavirus infection. However, with China and several other countries purchasing with no news of adverse effects and recorded toxicity, Interferon Alfa 2-B became the wonder drug that mitigated the virus to an extent as research studies for a vaccine progressed.
How Interferon Alfa 2-B Is Administered
Usually, Interferon Alfa 2-B is not advised to be taken without a prescription from a qualified and certified medical practitioner. The antiviral agent is administered intramuscularly or intravenously through injections into the muscle or skin. Shots are usually given in hospitals and medical centres by doctors or medical practitioners. However, with technology and multi-dose pens present for chronic infected sickly patients, it could be used in the home too. But it must be noted that the directions of the manufacturer and prescription by a doctor must be followed judiciously to avoid overdose and errors leading to medical complications.
Is Interferon Alfa 2-B Toxic
Generally, Interferon Alfa 2-B is not toxic to use, neither has there been reports of the adverse effects of the drug. Nonetheless, like every other drug, Immunotherapy has its side effects and specifications for use. It has been noted that sometimes, there could be swellings in the site of injection which should naturally reduce. But if the swelling gets worse, it is advised to see a doctor.
Some of its major side effects include flu-like symptoms including fatigue, fever, headache, nausea, dizziness, dry mouth, and even upset stomach upset. The side effects should last about 24hours after use. If after 24 hours, the side effects persist, patients are advised to see their doctor. Taking Interferon Alfa 2-B must be supplemented with the intake of fluids to boost immunity and strength.
Can Everyone Use Interferon Alfa 2-B?
It is very important for medical purposes to know that although everyone can use Interferon Alfa 2-B, some predisposing factors like the health status of a patient must be considered before using the drug. Typically, pregnant women, partners whose partners are pregnant, individuals with kidney disease and patients allergic to ribavirin are advised not to use it. Therefore, when on a visit to the doctor, it is of essence that you provide the right information to avoid complications with immunotherapy use.
Interferon Alfa 2-B remains an active antiviral and antineoplastic therapeutic drug in fighting against viral diseases and cancer, improving the public health sector. The immunotherapeutic agent is excellent at boosting the immune system and eliminating viral proteins and attachment mechanism, improving the health of users and sickly individuals. Nonetheless, indiscriminate use without a prescription must be avoided.
Cancer is clearly the deadliest disease known worldwide as it is the second leading cause of deaths globally with an estimated prevalence of one in three people developing cancer during their lifetime .
The term Cancer defines a large group of diseases that can affect any part of the body; the pathological mechanism of cancer is the transformation of normal healthy cells that become abnormal and proliferate excessively. These disordered cells eventually form a mass called malignant tumor. Cancer cells tend to invade nearby tissues and become detached from the tumor. They then migrate through the blood vessels and lymphatics to form another tumor (metastasis).
The most commonly diagnosed cancers in the world are lung, breast and colorectal cancer AND The most common deaths are caused by lung cancer, stomach and liver cancer.
The definitive cure for cancer still does not exist nowadays and we can also say that the cancer response will never come from a single miracle pill , but complete remission has been achieved in many cases in response to various treatments.
treatment of cancer requires having a diagnosis of certainty and knowing the type of cancer; evaluation of local and regional extension and the presence or absence of metastases with assessment of the general condition of the patient (age, cardiac and renal function, presence of other diseases).
The classic cancer therapies include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy that aim to remove cancer cells surgically and destroy them by toxic chemicals that are also toxic to normal cells as well, these classic therapies rarely succeed to eradicate every single cancer cell, so even if few cancerous cells survive the therapy, they can proliferate again and produce a relapse of the disease few months or years later
Cancer treatment definetly changed over the last decades with the emerging of new strategies based on better understanding of cancer cell biology , these new therapies include : antibodies ,viral therapy and antiangiogenic drugs that stop tumors from growing new blood vessels
one leading research in the treatment of lung cancer, which is one of the deadliest cancers, is the CimaVax-EGF: a vaccine used to treat patients with lung cancer and as a preventive measure for people at high risk of suffering from this disease. At present, this drug is available in the country’s hospital network, and it has been registered in several countries.
With Trials organized in the United States, the European Union, Japan, and Serbia that showed increased a chance of survival.
CIMAvax is based on a unique mechanism because it starves cancer cells : It does not target the cancer cells directly, but is expected to work against these cancers by denying the cancers the growth stimulus they require.
In addition, Cuban scientists have just completed their research on two other promising cancer drugs: Racotumomab and VSSP. The first acts on a molecule present in all cancer cells, which means that this drug may one day be effective against leukemia and tumors of the lung, breast, prostate and colon, while the VSSP, designed to Originally as a compound to activate the immune response to vaccines, it also seems to stimulate the immune response to cancer.
Nimotuzumab is also used to treat many types of head and neck cancers, including those that form on the mucous surfaces of the mouth, nose, brain and nasopharynx. This drug can bind epidermal growth factor receptors in cancer cells, preventing them from dividing and spreading.
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a key target in the development of cancer therapeutics, it is a signaling protein that normally controls cell division. In some cancers, this receptor is altered to cause uncontrolled cell division, a hallmark of cancer, nimotuzumab works by blocking that receptor and eventually it stops the uncontrolled cell division.
Cuban Approach to Cancer Treatment:
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in Cuba. This is partly due to longer life expectancy but also to the adoption of unhealthy lifestyles. Too many people abuse alcohol, have an unbalanced diet and consume tobacco
To cope with this situation, Cuba has followed the recommendations of the World Health Organization and has put in place a comprehensive national plan that guarantees access to all levels of health services – prevention, diagnosis, treatment and palliative care. The plan builds on a strong primary care system that allows physicians to see their patients regularly and detect health problems early. Patients suspected of having cancer are referred to specialized centers for diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
To support this approach, the government has invested heavily in biotechnology. In recent years, Cuban scientists have made tremendous progress in finding new treatments for cancer and new tools to improve diagnosis and prevention.
Early detection of cancer remains the ultimate treatment option: Screening in both healthy and high-risk populations offers the opportunity to detect cancer early and with an increased opportunity for treatment and curative intent
Screening for the identification of cancer or precancerous lesions at an early stage of its development greatly increases the chances of successful treatment. It is based on screening, but also on the education of patients with early diagnosis, when it comes to early detection of cancer awareness is the most important factor, some early signs of cancer include lumps, sores that fail to heal, abnormal bleeding, persistent
indigestion, and chronic hoarseness. Certain types of cancer are accessible to simple tests that identify, in a healthy population, subjects who have cancer but do not yet have symptoms. This is particularly the case with breast, colorectal and cervical cancers.
Cuba is at the forefront of orthopedic surgery, continuously evolving, creating new surgical techniques, designing medical devices, and improving patient’s quality of life. Hospitals in Cuba adhere to a strict conduit of hygiene, while also providing patient-center medical care. Due to the high standards of professionalism and efficiency that hospitals and medical staff uphold. Cuba attracts over 25 000 medical tourists each year.
Cuba has brought numerous innovations in the field of Orthopedics and Traumatology over the years, from which the entire world has benefited. Cuba has contributed to numerous advancements in joint replacement surgical techniques, As well as the development of more durable and efficient joint replacement prosthesis.
Total Hip Replacement Surgery
The primary indication for total hip replacement surgery is to relieve pain caused by severe osteoarthritis, inflammatory arthritis and avascular necrosis of the femoral head. Secondary indications include correction of significant deformities and post-traumatic reconstruction. Joint replacement is considered when the pain is disabling and significant or in cases in which joint dysfunction is causing significant reduction in the patient’s quality of life.
The surgery implies removing the damaged joint and replacing it with an artificial prosthesis. The artificial hip joint replacement has traditionally been made with cemented polyethylene cup implants.
However, Cuba has advanced to using “cementless” prostheses. These particular prostheses have microscopic pores which allow bony ingrowth from the normal femur into the prosthesis stem. This “cementless” hip is felt to have a longer duration and is considered especially for younger patients. The prosthesis can also be customized acording to the patient’s needs and anatomy.
Cuba has pioneered the surgical technique for cementless hip replacement surgery that is currently being used world-wide. Although many varieties of these specialized prostheses now exist; the most used model in Cuba is a prosthesis made of metal and polyethylene covered with hydroxyapatite , which is the main mineral component of bone , obtained naturally from coral and also synthetically in the laboratory. It is produced at the National Scientific Research Center, part of the west Havana scientific complex.
Advances in hip replacement surgery have also allowed for a „minimal invasive” surgery technique to be developed. The classical hip replacement surgery technique implies making an 10 to 25 cm cut along the side of the hip. In the minimally-invasive approach, doctors make one to two cuts from 5 to 13 cm long. The same procedure is performed through these small incisions as with standard hip replacement surgery. The aim of the minimal invasive approach is to limit soft-tissue and bone dissection.
Specialized instruments and trained assistants are essential for the success of this technique. The instruments are designed to keep the assistant’s hands out of the operative field while generating less tension on the soft tissues. Robotic or computer guidance can be used to virtually visualize the minimally exposed anatomy.
The use of small incisions, coupled with minimal tissue damage has been shown to lessen blood loss, ease pain following surgery, shorten hospital stays, reduce scar appearance, and speed healing. Moreover, 97% of patients attained standard physical therapy goals (transferring in and out of bed from standing, rising from a chair to standing, moving from standing to sitting, walking 100 feet, and negotiating a full flight of stairs) within 1 day of surgery.
While the technique is certainly an advancement in hip replacement surgery; it is difficult and requires highly trained medical team. Smaller incisions mean poor visibility of the area. Surgeons need to have excellent understanding of the anatomy of the region and have access to specialized hands-on training by operating on cadavers and by visiting experienced surgeons.
Specialized instruments and trained assistants are also essential for the success of this technique. The instruments are designed to keep the assistant’s hands out of the operative field while generating less tension on the soft tissues.
Total Knee replacement surgery
The primary indication for total knee replacement surgery is relief of significant, disabling pain caused by severe arthritis. Generally, it is indicated in older patients with more modest activities. It is also clearly indicated in younger patients who have limited function because of systemic arthritis with multiple joint involvement.
Significant advances have occurred in the type and quality of the metals, polyethylene, and, more recently, ceramics used in the prosthesis manufacturing process, leading to improved longevity. As with most techniques in modern medicine, more and more patients are receiving the benefits of total knee arthroplasty. In Cuba, an average of 140 total and revision knee replacement surgeries per 100.000 population are performed annualy.
For total knee replacement surgery Cuba now uses the KALISTE prosthesis model, manufactured by the French company FHorthopedic. Kalisté Total Knee System is a tricompartmental resurfacing prosthesis that allows the surgeons to begin the knee replacement surgery with either the tibial stage or the femoral stage. This prosthesis can be customized to the patient’s anatomy and has been designed to admit posterior cruciate ligaments PCLretaining or posterior stabilized PS Knee prosthesis.
The use of this knee replacement prosthesis coupled with the excellent surgical techniques that Cuban surgeons employ have led to excellent success rates. Statistics show that 91% of patients that have undergone the technique attained standard physical therapy goals within 2 day of surgery.
In addition to providing excellent medical care, Cuba has extremely affordable prices for various orthopedic surgeries, including total hip and knee replacement. A standard that should be upheld all over the world as medical care is a right, and not a privilege.
The Cuban biotechnology industry is known worldwide. The human and veterinary vaccines, bio-products, drugs, diagnostic means and monoclonal antibodies created by brilliant scientists, in top-level facilities, place Cuba as one of the developing nations, together with India and Brazil, with more advances in this sector.
The Bio Cuba Pharma Business Group, one of the most economically powerful in the country, is responsible for leading the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. This organization has registered products and exports to more than 50 countries, has 1,800 patents abroad and its annual income exceeds 2,000 million dollars. Among the institutions attached to the huge Group, which employs more than 22,000 workers, are the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), the Center for the Production of Laboratory Animals (CENPALAB), the National Center for Biopreparations (BIOCEN), the Center of Immunoassay and the Center for Molecular Immunology (CIM).
What are the medications, made in Cuba, with the most international prestige? Pan American World proposes to approach five creations, unique in the world, born of the brilliance and long years of research by Cuban scientists.
HEBERPROT-P, THE BEST TREATMENT FOR DIABETIC FOOT ULCERS
According to the World Health Organization, some 300 million people suffer from diabetes, and of these, between 15% and 35% may suffer amputation of one of their extremities. The Cuban drug Heberprot-P, the only one of its kind in the world, has been able to reduce amputations by diabetic foot ulcer in Cuban patients more than four times. Born from the creative genius of a team of scientists, led by Dr. Jorge Berlanga, at the CIGB, the drug is used in more than 20 countries.The treatment includes injection into the affected area of the person and accelerates the healing process of the skin, so that the wound would be closed in a period of approximately three months.
The chances of survival for people diagnosed with lung cancer at an advanced stage are very low; However, with CimaVax-EGF a new hope has appeared. This vaccine was created by researchers from the CIM who took 25 years to develop the product. The treatment slows down the growth of cancer cells and, therefore, prevents the disease from spreading throughout the body and thereby prolongs people’s lives. The scientists clarify that it is not a preventive vaccine, but therapeutic, although it has also been used in those with higher risks of suffering from the disease.
The CIM also developed the VAXIRA vaccine (known as Racotumomab) that works on a molecule found in all cancer cells. Scientists hope that, in the future, the drug may be effective against leukemia and other tumors that accompany lung, colon, prostate and breast cancers.
CimaVax-EGF caught the attention of scientists from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in New York who continue to evaluate the possibility of taking this medication to the United States, which would be a milestone, because the Washington Blockade has prevented access to Cuban inventions.
POLICOSANOL (PPG), A NATURAL PRODUCT TO LOWER CHOLESTEROL
This drug, made from the wax of sugar cane, is used mainly to lower cholesterol, although the product also has other applications, since its antiplatelet, anti-ischemic and antithrombotic effects have been demonstrated; In addition, some take the medication because they consider that it invigorates the male genital tract. The PPG, being natural, has few contraindications, unlike what happens with other drugs on the international market for cholesterol.
Venezuela is one of the biggest consumers of PPG and Cuba also markets it in Serbia, Slovakia and Spain, among other nations.
VA-MENGOC-BC, VERY EFFECTIVE VACCINE AGAINST MENINGOCOCCI B AND C
During the 80s of the last century, Cuba suffered an outbreak of meningococcal disease. The scientists worked intensely to find a solution and the Finlay Institute of Havana created VA-MENGOC-BC, a bivalent vaccine composed of meningococcal B outer membrane vesicles and meningococcal C capsular polysaccharide. It is currently the only commercially available drug in the world that attacks meningococci B and C.
In Cuba, more than 60 million doses of the vaccine have already been applied. The drug has proven to be very effective and with a high safety profile, as recognized by the World Health Organization.
NEUROEPO, A MEDICATION TO SLOW THE PROGRESSION OF ALZHEIMER’S
Population aging is one of the biggest problems facing Cuba. Currently, Alzheimer’s is the sixth cause of death in the country, among people over 60 years of age and, by 2040, this disease could affect 2.7% of Cubans. Today, more than 35 million people in the world have Alzheimer’s and there is no medication that is able to cure or stop its progression. In this context, the CIM scientists created a drug, called NeuroEpo, that delays the expansion of this disease.
“It would be the first time it is used on people and we have to wait for the results. This compound does not prevent Alzheimer’s disease, nor does it eliminate it, but the preclinical results are encouraging in that it could help to change the course of the disease, that is, slow down the deterioration that the patient inevitably suffers. Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease without regression, she will move forward. What we want is to help delay this degenerative process and improve the quality of life of that person, and of the family, “acknowledged CIM researcher Leslie Pérez Ruiz.
Cuban scientists are working on a clinical trial with Heberferon, which acts on renal carcinoma and in patients with malignant brain tumors.
Since you’re reading this article, the chances are, you are thinking about assisted living or nursing home care facility for the beloved elderly in the family. The decision is not easy- standards of care and prices across different facilities vary a lot. Also, no matter how cheap they claim to be, they’ll still put tremendous strain on your budget. Nevertheless, you would compromise on the price for the sake of higher quality of care. And finally, the decision comes with a sense of guilt. It’s normal, and it’s ok.
This article aims to give you a new idea, a different perspective, and solution that will put you at ease, so keep reading! The future is brighter than it might seem at the moment.
Today, about 2.5 million people in the US use services of assisted living and nursing homes. According to the statistic, the number of users by 2050 is going to triple. Longer life expectancy, growing population, improvements in healthcare quality, and availability did its thing- the population of elderly grows at a staggering rate. They need a kind of care that overgrows the capabilities of the family home surrounding. Some are dealing with physical disabilities that require expensive home modifications to maintain normal daily functioning. Others suffer conditions that require the use of specialized medical equipment and procedures. This is where assisted living and nursing homes come into play.
Assisted Living VS. Nursing Home Care- the Cuban way
Just like its name says- residents in assisted living need a helping hand in everyday activities. Someone to take care of their diet, personal hygiene, or maybe help them get into and out of a vehicle.
On the other hand, Nursing Home Care is for people whose health is severely impaired so they cannot take care of themselves or function normally without specialized healthcare.
The World Health Organization defines health as not only the absence of disease but a state of physical, social, and mental well-being. That is precisely what we do on Cuba- help our users to achieve an as healthy lifestyle as possible, giving the limitations of their health impairment.
The Cuban program offers these two major categories of care. However, there are many shades in between. Since no two humans are alike, flexible, and individually tailored integrative approach is what we offer. After the Initial Needs Assessment that includes consultations with doctors of various medical specialties and comprehensive medical examination, we make the program that fits the user’s needs the best way.
You can find more info about the whole procedure of admission at the end of this article.
Additional healthcare costs
Our assisted living and nursing home care facility provides medical services to a certain extent. If needed, our staff coordinates the appointment of the users to a closest hospital or outpatient clinic. The expenses of the hospital stay and medical treatments carried out there are not included in the price of our program. However, with the medical support we provide at the facility, such situations are rare and prices of medical treatments on Cuba is at least half the price compared to the US.
How much assisted living and nursing homes cost across the US – Why Cuba?
According to the American Seniors Housing Association, the median price for a one-bedroom apartment in the assisted living in 2017 was $48,000 annually, with a projection of 3% price increase over a five-year period. Depending on the part of the US, annual expenses of assisted living can go up to $72,000 (NY).
Nursing homes are even more expensive throughout the US – median monthly price for a private room is $8,121 with a projection of 13% price increase over a five-year period. Depending on the part of the US, monthly expenses of nursing home care can go up to $12,927 (NY).
The good news is – treatment costs and our program prices are just a fraction of the price throughout North America
Cuba has been internationally renowned for its high-quality medical care at affordable prices. According to the Association of Caribbean States, the number of people from North America seeking for medical help in Cuba skyrockets every year- from 3,500 foreign patients in 2001 to 20,000 in 2005. The trend of medical tourism in Cuba kept growing up to this day. The list of available interventions is quite long- from minor fixes such as dentistry to major surgical procedures such as hip replacement.
Generally speaking, the bigger the intervention, the higher the price discrepancy between Cuba and the US is. The prices are at least 50-80% lower than those in the US; for some procedures, patients pay 3-5 times less than in the US.
Can you rely on the Cuban healthcare system?
Numbers show that Cuba matches first-world health statistics. The primary healthcare in Cuba operates through more than 450 outpatient clinics, which makes it one of the most proactive healthcare systems in the world.
Back in 1985, Cuba pioneered the vaccine against meningitis B. Since then, the country’s scientists developed medical treatments of unmatched efficacy in the world of medicine. Hepatitis B, diabetic foot, psoriasis, vitiligo, and lung cancer are just some of the conditions whose prognosis and treatment outcomes improved thanks to Cuba.
In 2015 WHO recognized that Cuba is the first country in the world to eliminate HIV and syphilis transmission from mother to child.
Airplane tickets to Cuba – it’s easier to get here than you might think
Arriving in Cuba is not expensive- depending on where you’re located in North America the ticket price ranges from $200 to $450, and the flight time ranges from 1h30min (from Miami) to about 4h (from Toronto).
Our assisted living and nursing care home can organize pick off and drop out to the airport. We take care of our users and their families from the moment they touch the soil of Cuba until they leave (transportation, correspondence with authorities, and all other necessary logistic support).
We look forward to hearing from you soon!
If you have any questions or you need additional info about the program, feel free to reach out to us (link to contact form and links to the programs)
Medical Tourism In Cuba Is Becoming Increasingly Popular
Why are so many US and other nations becoming so interested in Cuba’s medical tourism? Well Cuba has well trained doctors and nurses and excellent health facilities and that these facilities are funded by their government. This type of funding is vital to the medical facilities to ensure excellent care to their patients.
Cuba’s medical facilities are well equipped for all kinds of medical treatments and their doctors and medical staff charge a fraction of the cost than a regular medical facility. This is another huge factor why medical tourism is becoming more popular in this island.
Another reason why Cuba’s Medical tourism is rising. Cuba’s doctors are well versed in all types of medical conditions that can arise which makes it even more desirable to come to Cuba for medical care. The only issue for US citizens is that the US has more rules that its citizens have to follow. For instance they can go and visit Cuba but they have to follow rules that the government provides. US citizens also may be audited as to their visit in Cuba so they have to keep a strict record of why they were there.
Other countries like Canada for instance don’t have this restriction like US citizens do, so they can go and receive medical treatment. Tourism in Cuba is becoming more popular among other countries because of their affordable medical care and if needed surgical care.
There are medical professionals in the US that are hoping that these regulations will be waived so that their patients can receive excellent care and treatment. So far the negotiations towards that are looking to become more favorable which will help Cuba be able to fund more of their doctors salaries to further help cuba’s health tourism.
There is a website that can help with the pricing of cuba’s medical tourism. Cuba offer all kinds of packages so that choosing the right one that fits within your budget is attainable and desirable. health tourism in Cuba helps with them being able to give their doctors and staff a more stable income and that in turns helps Cuba out immensely.
Cuba’s medical tourism is a great asset to those that are needing specific healthcare. Cuba’s doctors have a more hands on approach to help their patients achieve their long term goals, which is great let’s say for an addict to overcome their addictions. The medical tourism in the republic of Cuba is gaining more notoriety and popularity among other countries.
Is medical tourism a good thing for Cuba? The answer is yes. The more popular it is becoming the more of an asset medical tourism is to Cuba. The more money that Cuba gains for their doctors, nurses and medical centers the more funding they can get for their patients as well. Medical tourism is really good for Cuba. It will help achieve more revenue and prove that their medical care is exceptionally great for everyone.
<div class="at-above-post-cat-page addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.cubaheal.com/2018/01/27/2018-1-27-interviews-from-havana/"></div><p style="white-space: pre-wrap;">Cuba is well known for its world class health-care, but also for its scientific research in the field, in places such as the Molecular Immunology Center, which develops new products to diagnose and treat cancer. Such institutes are also now profitible ventures for the island nation.</p><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings generic via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><div class="at-below-post-cat-page addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.cubaheal.com/2018/01/27/2018-1-27-interviews-from-havana/"></div><!-- AddThis Share Buttons generic via filter on get_the_excerpt -->
CubaHeal Medical is a global organization specialized in facilitating medical treatments, medical education, in addition to patient and student care in the Republic of Cuba. CubaHeal is a loyal supporter of the Republic of Cuba, the Cuban people, the Cuban revolution, and the Cuban revolutionary leadership.