The Institute of Hematology and Immunology IHI was created as a research institute of the Ministry of Public Health on December 1st, 1966 with the mission of validating scientific research in hematology, immunology and transfusion medicine, and the provision of high-level scientific and technical services. It also had the task of postgraduate teaching, mainly for the training of specialists for national coverage.
It has worked steadily in the production of some reagents and biological culture media for if self-sufficiency and to provide other institutions of the National Health System (NHS).
The IHI leads the National Programs of Hematology, Immunodiagnostic and others, related to the comprehensive care of patients with hemophilia, sickle cell anemia and leukemia.
Since 2004, as part of the Regenerative Medicine Program and in collaboration with other health centers, began the implementation of adult hematopoietic stem cells in the treatment of ischemic heart disease and ischemic disorders of the lower limbs, with very promising results in line with international developments in this new field of medicine.
In all its activities the center also includes the program of quality assurance. It is a referral center for quality control of blood grouping area and other blood components produced in Cuba.
For the diagnosis of immune system disorders and other related entities, this institute does humoral and cellular studies, phagocytic function and other immunological, immunochemical and histocompatibility (HLA) investigations.
All these developments have made it possible to extend the humanitarian care to a significant number of patients from other countries, especially in Latin America, Africa and Europe. It is remarkable the medical care given to over 330 children from the Chernobyl nuclear accident and 50 people affected by radiation exposure in Goiania, Brazil, and more recently, to pediatric patients from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
In the educational aspects, the center is responsible for the training of Hematology specialists to cover the nation’s clinical and blood services and participates in the training of specialists in immunology. It offers postgraduate theoretical and practical -theoretical courses and recycling these and other medical professionals involved in these branches. The institute participates in the training of health technologists. It is integrated to units of secondary and tertiary levels and the centers of west Havana’s Scientific Pole (cluster of research centers).