#Cuba Starts Second Stage of #Polio Vaccination

By Alma

The Cuban National Vaccination Campaign against poliomyelitis will begin its second stage today. The vaccination campaign began in 1962. According to official figures, 372,856 of 500,000 children under the age of three, received their first dose of the vaccine in the first stage of vaccinations in February; the rest will be vaccinated during this second stage.


The injected vaccine, which protects against all viruses that cause polio, was administered as part of the World Health Organization Strategic Plan, which hopes to eradicate the disease by 2018. During the Cuban campaign, to run until April 3, more than 119,000 nine-year-old-children will also be vaccinated. Health authorities confirmed, a few days ago, that Cuba has administered nearly 85 million doses of the vaccine since the first vaccination campaign in 1962.

National Immunization Program in Cuba

There is approximately one doctor for every 200 Cubans. Cuba’s Family Doctor and Nurse program, which started in 1984, lies at the heart of the country’s health care system. Their mandate is geared toward preventive–instead of curative–medicine. The program makes a point of meeting with patients twice a year and keeping meticulous immunization records. 

Just as important as the primary care providers, Cuba’s community groups carry out directives from health authorities and follow up on vaccine schedules. For example, the Committees to Defend the Revolution and the Federation of Cuban Women, established in 1960 after the revolution, go into neighbourhoods on a regular basis to discuss legislation and government policies, and share news about personal and public health. Every year, the Federation of Cuban Women tracks down every baby to ensure he or she has been immunized.

Cuba’s National Immunization Program- completely free to the population, because the state assumes all expenses, the drugs used are mainly produced by the country’s institutions. Now the Program effectively protects Cuban children from 13 diseases:

1)polio

2) typhoid

3) tetanus

4) diphtheria

5)  pertussis

6) rubella  

7) measles

8) mumps

9) tuberculosis

10) hepatitis B

11)  haemophilus influenza B

12) meningitis B (The meningitis B vaccine was developed in Cuba, and is considered the world’s first effective vaccine against this child-killer disease)

13) meningitis C.  

The Program’s Impact 

The National Program, begun in 1962, has resulted in internationally noteworthy results over the last 56 years, including the elimination of the following diseases:

Poliomyelitis (1962)

Diphtheria (1979)

Measles (1993)

Rubella and Mumps (1995)

The following severe clinical forms were also eliminated:

Neonatal tetanus (1972)

Pertussis (Whooping Cough) (1994)

The following serious complications have been eliminated:

Congenital Rubella Syndrome (1989)

Post-Mumps Meningoencephalitis (1989)

The following diseases and severe clinical manifestations no longer constitute a health problem, since their rates are less than 0.1 x 100 000 inhabitants:

Tetanus (since 1990)

Haemophilus influenza (since 2003)

Since 2011 there have been no reported cases of Mumps in Cuba.

 

(With information from Prensa Latina, Medicc rewiew, Cubacasestudy.blogs)

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