Cuba announces new vaccine for Cholera

Campaign News | Thursday, 21 April 2005

Hope to save 120,000 lives a year

Havana, Apr 20: Cuba"s Finlay Institute announced the completion of clinic trials of a vaccine for cholera at the 12th International Fair "Health for All".

Specialists from the prestigious institution - whose research and development resulted in the new vaccine - said the product will soon be evaluated in Africa, where the disease is endemic.

Cholera covers a very wide medical geography. It became endemic in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and has even affected Europe. It is estimated that there are 120,000 fatalities annually, but accurate figures are difficult to obtain due to fear of international stigmatization and possible sanctions.

The Finlay Institute has developed several other vaccines to fight diseases like typhoid fever, tetanus, meningitis B and combined vaccines, all of which were approved by the Ministry for Public Health vaccination program targeting different age groups.

The strategy of the Institute is to develop new medicines for diseases still lacking a cure, relying on technology meeting national and international standards.

The 12th International Fair Health for All closes April 22. It gathers 332 companies from 29 countries. This biennial event was first held in 1983, and while Spain, Italy, Germany and Japan have the largest representation, it has also welcomed newcomers Russia, Hungary, Sweden and the United States.

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