Half million children being vaccinated in Anti-Polio Campaign

Campaign News | Saturday, 8 April 2006

70 milion vbqaccinations have been carried out under the revolution

Havana 8 April: Coinciding with World Health Day, from April 7 to 13, the second stage of the 45th Anti-Polio Campaign take place across Cuba where 524,000 children will receive the oral vaccination.

The campaign will reach 384,000 children under three that where immunized last February, along with 140,000 nine year-olds who will have their vaccinations reactivated.

The public is reminded to not ingest water 30 minutes before or after the vaccination and that children with fevers, diarrhea or vomiting will not be administered the vaccination.

Professor Miguel Galindo, head of the National Vaccination program of the Ministry of Public Health, said that in the last few decades around 70 million anti-polio vaccinations have been administered and that all Cubans under the age of 60 -some 8 million- have been immunized.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has informed that while the number of cases of polio worldwide has dropped from 350,000 in 1988 to 1,180 in 2004, last year saw a rise in polio. As a result, international health organizations have increased their efforts against the disease in Nigeria, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In addition, the WHO noted that the imported virus is present in eight other countries: Angola, Chad, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Nepal, Niger, Somalia and Yemen.

Before the 1959 triumph of the Revolution, poliomyelitis was the cause of numerous deaths and caused paralysis to an average of 300 children a year. Cuba was the first country in the Americas to eradicate polio in 1962.


Cuba says it has developed new treatment for hepatitis C

Havana, Cuba March 15: Cuba says it has developed a treatment against the hepatitis C virus that would contribute to a long-term cure of liver damage caused by the disease.

The Havana-based Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) said the product is a combination of Alpha-2B interferon and Rivairina, developed in the country. The combination of these two formulas allows for an increased therapeutic response in people suffering from chronic hepatitis.

Dr Hugo Nodarse of CIGB Pharmaceutical Sciences said Cuban patients could now rely on an alternative treatment that increases possibilities to control the illness.

He said the objective is to wipe out the virus circulating in the patient's blood.

Clinical trials of the product were carried out at the National Gastroenterology Institute, the Cuban news agency Prensa Latina said.


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