Friday, May 31, 2019

Cuban President Follows Strategic Development Programs
In recent tours and meetings, Díaz-Canel and government authorities were informed of the national production of medical equipment and devices, as well as efforts to confront climate change

National news staff |
May 29, 2019 11:05:45

Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro at the Immunoassay Center, part of the West Havana Scientific Pole. Photo: Jorge Oller

DETAILED information on the development in Cuba of 31 pieces of medical equipment and 15 high-tech devices that will contribute to qualitatively improving health care, replace imports and result in technological sovereignty for the country, was announced at the most recent meeting of the Productive Scientific Pole of Havana, Artemisa and Mayabeque, in the presence of the President of the Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez.

According to the official website of the Cuban presidency, this experience, which dates back more than three decades and was promoted by the Comandante en Jefe of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro Ruz, has supplied national hospitals with equipment and devices developed in the country.

DSc. José Luis Fernández Yero explained that the equipment, furniture and medical devices in question are currently being developed by the national industry, most of them intended for the diagnosis of diseases, in specialties such as neurology, surgery, stomatology, radiology, rehabilitation and pathological anatomy.

These products will be gradually introduced into the National Health System from this year through 2023, and will allow the country to make savings of more than 115 million pesos. In addition, due to their high quality, they could also be exported.

Fernández offered details of the wide range of equipment and devices that are being worked on in prestigious institutions, belonging to the BioCubaFarma Group, the ministries of Industry and Science, Technology and the Environment, as well as universities, which will permit the early prognosis of heart disease in the community; the auditory and visual screening of newborns and infants in the first months of life; the rapid detection of urinary tract infections; assist caregivers of patients with dementia; and ensure the treatment of biocontaminated waste generated in health facilities, among others.

He also mentioned the NeuroGer Pesquisa device, which will help to measure cognitive, psycho-affective and functional frailty disorders in large populations of the elderly; the high-power laser device that is used as a substitute for the scalpel or other conventional instruments; and an ozonator to disinfect operating rooms and other hospital areas.

In this regard, Díaz-Canel described such information as comforting, and highlighted the scientific-technological potential that the country has in such a sensitive area for the population, where different industries are integrated to contribute to Cuba’s development and achieve the necessary technological sovereignty in this field.

He pointed out that these investigations contribute to the development of the country; result in productive chains between industries, scientific centers and universities; substitute imports; and at the same time become exportable items due to their competitiveness.

Meanwhile, Roberto Morales Ojeda, a vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers, commented that the list of medical devices and equipment could be greater, if one takes into account the research carried out in scientific centers and universities of the country, the results of which have not yet been made widely known, and taken forward to the innovation phase.

He noted that these efforts respond to the current health situation in Cuba, with an ageing population, and the consequent appearance of chronic diseases. Morales also stressed the need to review how much more can be done to speed up the introduction of such devices into the national health system.

He highlighted the collaboration of the military industry, not only in the generation of new equipment and devices, but in extending the useful life of those currently used in medical institutions, which represents considerable savings of resources.

Minister of Science, Technology and the Environment, Elba Rosa Pérez Montoya, highlighted that these efforts involve not only the capital of the country, but all of Cuba, with the strengths of each territory contributing. In particular, she pointed to the capacities of Cuban universities to contribute much more to the scientific development of the nation.


The progress in the measures carried out in the country as part of the State Plan for the Confrontation of Climate Change, known as Tarea Vida, and the Program for the Preservation of Cuban Historical Memory, were recently checked by the state leadership and government.

On analyzing the strategy devised by the Ministry of Higher Education (MES) to implement Tarea Vida, the significant role it has played in dealing with climate change was recognized, long before the State Plan was institutionalized in 2017.

As a training body, MES has a high responsibility for increasing the perception of risk, the level of knowledge and the degree of participation of the entire population in confronting climate change, as noted by Ondina León Díaz, director general of Research and Postgraduate Studies of the Ministry.

In this sense, Dr. Tania Merino Gómez, specialist at MES, highlighted the implementation of various projects, courses, lecture series, methodological activities and professional training, as well as other actions that provide teachers and university students with the tools necessary to confront the problem of climate change.

In addition, she presented studies and research carried out in different universities and Higher Education research centers, to contribute to the conservation and recovery of beaches, forest resources, coral reefs and insular shelf ridges.

Among other measures, she highlighted phytosanitary improvements in crops of economic interest; the in vitro propagation of varieties resistant to drought and salinity; methodologies and warning systems for the integrated management of coastal areas; technological contributions to increase energy efficiency; and the participation of the university community in the planting of mangroves and the promotion of live fences.

The results obtained so far were described as satisfactory, while recognizing the existence of barriers that may be holding back progress and are related to insufficient control mechanisms, failures in the links between universities and the productive and services sectors; as well as the approval of programs and training courses not always adjusted to the needs of each territory.

Minister of Science, Technology and the Environment, Elba Rosa Pérez Montoya, in presenting opinions on MES performance, stressed that the Ministry can make an even greater contribution in provinces, municipalities and specific localities, to work more comprehensively on the current and future impacts of climate change, and the applicable alternatives, both economic and social.

Meanwhile, President Díaz-Canel insisted on the importance of Higher Education graduates leaving the classroom with knowledge about Tarea Vida, to provide more coherent thinking in relation to the issue.


As part of an intense working day, the Cuban leader also followed up on the Program for the Conservation of Historical Memory, in which analyzed was the attention that health authorities pay to the impact of environmental conditions on the health of people who work in archives, libraries and other institutions linked to the preservation of documentary heritage.

According to Regla Angulo Pardo, deputy minister of Public Health, these areas generally see high levels of dust and moisture, high temperatures, poor ventilation and inadequate lighting, factors that lead to increased morbidity from respiratory, ocular and dermatological diseases, linked to exposure to different fungi species.

Hence the need to propose measures aimed at guaranteeing, as far as possible, adequate working conditions; equipment and maintenance supplies, including dehumidifiers and vacuum cleaners; and means of protection for personnel such as gowns, eyeglasses, gloves, face masks and caps.

The Vice President of the Councils of State and Ministers, Roberto Morales Ojeda, emphasized the importance of continuing to increase actions in terms of training, promotion and prevention, as well as encouraging research that broadens lines of work and allows for the development of new ones.

The meeting focused on the work of the province of Sancti Spíritus to preserve the documentary heritage that is stored in different institutions of the territory, and is part not only of the identity of the people of Sancti Spiritus, but also of the Cuban nation as a whole.

However, material scarcities and organizational difficulties affect the coherent preservation of historical memory in the province, where the need for local government to provide increasingly comprehensive attention to these institutions is evident.

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