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The World Health Organization can count on Cuba

evento saludMore health, efficiency, an intersectoral approach, resilience to climate change and a greater Cuban presence in global health are the priorities of the new Country Cooperation Strategy for the 2018-2022 period signed by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organization (WHO), and Cuba’s Ministry of Public Health.

“It’s a privilege to work with Cuba. I’m certain that these priorities will serve as a guide so that our cooperation is focused where it is most needed, has the greatest impact and allows for better results in the country’s health sector,” stated PAHO Director Carisse Etienne, during the signing ceremony.

Over almost six decades of Revolution, Cuba has given high priority to raising the health of its citizens, dedicating considerable efforts and resources to the creation and consolidation of the National Health System, she added.

For us it is a commitment to continue working together, in order to maintain their achievements and increasingly promote their development, Etienne stressed.

Photo: Lisandra Fariñas Acosta
Meanwhile, WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed his gratitude for the opportunity this strategy represents for these organizations to extend cooperation in Cuba over the next four years.

Cuban Minister of Public Health Roberto Morales Ojeda described the Cooperation Strategy as very important, the second to be signed on the island.

“It will allow us to consolidate the work between the World Health Organization and Cuba, as well as continue obtaining better health indicators, higher quality, sustainability of the purposes and the development of our health and social system, to continue contributing to the region and other countries of the world,” he added.

The Strategy was signed by doctors Tedros Adhanom, Roberto Morales, Carissa Etienne and economist Cristian Morales, PAHO/WHO representative to Cuba.


Cuba’s achievements in health are recognized worldwide and the island is considered today one of the nations in the region that shows the greatest advances in this sector, acknowledged PAHO Director Carissa Etienne.

For this reason, she added, the advances, challenges and history of the public health system in Cuba are topics addressed in the special issue of the Pan American Journal of Public Health, launched on Tuesday as part of the activities of the Third Cuba-Salud International Convention 2018.

We know a lot about Cuba’s gains in the sector, but less about how they were achieved, despite being a nation with scarce resources, Etienne highlighted.

During the presentation it was also stressed that public health is a result of the organized efforts of society and the state, which emanates from political will and commitment, and have allowed Cuba to advance and improve the health of its people despite the United States blockade imposed for more than 50 years.

Roberto Morales Ojeda thanked the journal’s editorial board for the initiative to dedicate this special edition to health in Cuba.

The Public Health Minister also noted that this April 2018, Volume 42 of the Journal, “is an ideal strategy to convey the experience of Cuba in the development of its health system to the region’s community of health and medical sciences professionals.”

Morales also made a call to systematize scientific thinking and publish more of the research conducted in Cuban institutions, both locally and nationally, as a way to publicize the challenges of the sector and to disseminate everything Cuba does in this field.

For Cristian Morales, WHO/PAHO representative in Cuba, this special issue will serve as a source of information not only for thousands of Cuban doctors, but for all health professionals of the region.

It will show that having a quality health system accessible to all is an achievable goal in the 21st century, the official concluded.


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