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Miguel Coyula
The abrupt breakup of the USSR and socialist bloc in the early 1990s dealt a devastating blow to the island's economy. Almost overnight, beneficial aid and trade provided by the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance ground to a halt, including 80% of foreign trade previously conducted as barter and sales of 13 million tons of oil per year at preferential prices. When the Cuban economy bottomed out in 1993, oil imports had dropped from 13 to 4 million tons annually. At the time, Cuba depended almost entirely on imported oil and the dramatic decline in imports created massive blackouts, leaving most Cuban homes without electricity 12 hours a day...
July 2016: MEDICC Review
Jeddú Cruz-Hernández, Pilar Hernández-García, Jacinto Lang-Prieto, Marelys Yanes-Quesada, Ileydis Iglesias-Marichal, Antonio Márquez-Guillén
Gestational diabetes is the most common endocrine disorder affecting pregnant women and its prevalence is on the rise. Prevalence in Cuba is about 5.8%, and global prevalence ranges from 2% to 18% depending on the criteria applied. Gestational diabetes can lead to adverse gestational outcomes, such as fetal death, preterm delivery, dystocia, perinatal asphyxia and neonatal complications. Prompt, accurate diagnosis allowing early treatment can benefit both mother and child. The disease is asymptomatic, so clinical laboratory testing plays a key role in its screening and diagnosis...
July 2016: MEDICC Review
Silvia J Venero-Fernández
WHO considers the effects of air pollution one of the most pressing global health priorities. Several years ago, scientists began noting a link between Saharan dust (a meteorological phenomenon that diminishes air quality as it spreads over the globe) and some diseases, but the few studies to date have been inconsistent. Cuba has the human and material resources to study the association between Saharan dust and health. It is important to encourage creation of multidisciplinary research teams to do so. KEYWORDS Health, airborne particulate matter, dust, air pollutants, environmental health, climate, Cuba...
July 2016: MEDICC Review
Ricardo Á González-Menéndez
Harmful use of alcohol-the prime gateway drug to other addictions-is also a problem in Cuba, even though the National Program for Prevention of Harmful Use of Alcohol includes the most effective measures used in analogous programs around the world. As a participant in the program's committee and empirical observer of its accomplishments and unaccomplished goals, I draw attention to the community's attitude of tolerance toward intoxication manifested by the lack of proportional consequences, and I insist on the need to broaden the community's understanding of the risks of non-social drinking, which in Latin America is practically limited to alcoholism and its complications...
July 2016: MEDICC Review
Justo R Fabelo-Roche, Serguei Iglesias-Moré, Ana M Gómez-García, Heydi Hernández-Domínguez, Iovanny García-Enríquez
To encourage development of negative attitudes toward alcohol use and thus prevent early onset of alcohol use, an intersectoral intervention was conducted from 2014 to 2015 among Cuban adolescents in 14 schools in Havana. The intervention included 312 students (189 girls and 123 boys) aged 14 to 15 years in 10th grade of high school or vocational school. Workshops were conducted using participatory techniques and group dynamics. Qualitative methods were applied, including narrative, desiderative and projective techniques...
July 2016: MEDICC Review
Miriam Portuondo-Sao, Marcia Cobas-Ruiz, Eduardo Zacca-Peña, Araceli Lantigua-Cruz, Josefina López-García, Yosnel Boligán-Jomarrón, Martiza Leyva-Serrano, Anorys Herrera-Armenteros, Ileana R Morales-Suárez
Persons with disabilities constitute one of the most vulnerable groups in every society; their identification, assessment and care present a major challenge. In 2001-2003, Cuba conducted the first comprehensive national study of persons with disabilities in the Americas. In 2007-2010, the study was replicated in Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Venezuela, at their governments' request. Study results have enabled implementation of strategies with substancial impact on human health in these countries...
July 2016: MEDICC Review
Beatriz Corona-Miranda, Mariela Hernández-Sánchez, Paula Lomba-Acevedo
INTRODUCTION Suicide is a health problem influenced by biological, genetic, psychological, social and economic factors. It is responsible for 50% of violent deaths in the male population, worldwide, and 71% in the female. In the Americas, 65,000 deaths by suicide occur every year. It is the ninth most frequent cause of death in Cuba, and third among people aged 10-19. OBJECTIVE Characterize the epidemiology of suicide in Cuba from 1987 to 2014. METHODS A retrospective descriptive study was conducted. The information comprised all records of death by suicide from January 1, 1987 to December 31, 2014, in the Cuban Ministry of Public Health's National Statistics Division database...
July 2016: MEDICC Review
Conner Gorry
In 1981, Cuba's biotechnology sector was born when Cuban scientists, trained by Finnish colleagues, successfully isolated large quantities of human leukocyte interferon alpha. Within a decade and following a $1-billion dollar investment by the Cuban government, 52 scientific research institutions were established in and around Havana to develop vaccines, therapies and other medical applications to meet demands of the national health system.
July 2016: MEDICC Review
Gail Reed
After leaving Chile during the Pinochet era, Dr Morales studied economics, health administration and international health at the University of Montreal. But his baptism in the field came in Haiti, where he was first PAHO advisor to the health ministry, and then for five years was responsible for human resources and health economics in the PAHO offices in the capital of Port-au-Prince. He was at his post during the flooding in Gonaïves, five hurricanes, the 2010 earthquake and the ensuing cholera epidemic-doubtless the most dramatic and complex times for the country's health in recent history...
July 2016: MEDICC Review
(no author information available yet)
Cuban advances in biotech have made headlines, particularly since the US-Cuba rapprochement and signing of the historic memorandum of understanding between the US Department of Health and Human Services and Cuba's Ministry of Public Health in June. Some 34 Cuban institutions with 22,000 employees are the backbone of a biotech industry that dates to the early 1980s, obtaining novel products that have sparked interest among potential global partners. While a number of these Cuban products are registered in various countries, their testing in the USA remains ensnared in the red tape of embargo laws that tend to make investors skittish and thus delay, if not curtail, joint research and clinical trial applications to the FDA...
July 2016: MEDICC Review
Mayra A Garí
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 2015: MEDICC Review
Carmen Landau, Lisa Long
Jessica and Robert* had a three-year-old son and were excited about their second child, a daughter. When Jessica was 21 weeks pregnant, the routine ultrasound was normal. At 26 weeks, she was in a minor car accident and her obstetrician referred her for a specialized ultrasound, concerned about the baby's heart. This was how Jessica and Robert discovered that their daughter had a serious heart defect. After meeting with a perinatologist, a genetics counselor and a pediatric cardiologist, they realized the prognosis was dire...
October 2015: MEDICC Review
Alexander N Ortega
Donald Trump, an American reality-television celebrity and busi-ness mogul, is at this writing a front-running Republican in the bid for the US presidency. His opening salvo as a candidate included charges that Mexican immigrants, particularly the unauthorized, are rapists and criminals and that they bring their problems with them to the USA. He also tied immigration from Latin America to a potential increase in terrorism in the country. Trump may not be taken seriously by some, but his conjectures have revved up anti-immigration sentiment, with other Republican presiden-tial candidates renewing proposals for building a wall along the US-Mexican border and advocating stricter immigration laws and enforcement...
October 2015: MEDICC Review
Ernesto Vilches, Luis A Ochoa, Lianne Ramos
Sudden cardiac death poses a challenge to modern medicine because of its high incidence, the unexpected and dramatic nature of the event, and years of potential life lost. What's more, despite modest decreases in global mortality attributed to cardiovascular diseases, incidence of sudden cardiac death has not declined. Cuba, like most of the Americas, suffers from knowledge gaps that hamper adequate strategies to address sudden cardiac death as a population health problem. We suggest that a generally accepted operational definition of sudden cardiac death be agreed upon, and a national registry developed that recognizes this cause of death on death certificates...
October 2015: MEDICC Review
Abel Cruz, Zeida Castillo, Julia Pérez, Ahyní Abeledo
Lung cancer educational programs seek the involvement of different groups in efforts to promote healthier habits and lifestyles. Women are primary agents for targeting prevention actions because of their ability to foster healthy lifestyles within their families. The purpose of this study was to develop a woman-centered educational program to strengthen knowledge and promote responsible behavior aimed at primary prevention of lung cancer. Based on identified learning needs in 133 female participants concerning lung cancer self care, healthy habits and communication skills about self care, a ten-workshop series was designed and validated by specialists and users...
October 2015: MEDICC Review
Wendy Valdés, Georgia Díaz-Perera, Tania M Espinosa
INTRODUCTION Atherosclerosis is the common underlying cause of cardiovascular diseases; the leading cause of morbidity and mortality globally. It is a major contributor to disability and poorer quality of life and is costly to health systems, individuals, families and society. Early signs of atherogenesis are manifestations of atherosclerosis and known atherogenic risk factors occurring at young ages and detectable by health professionals. Early detection of such signs in children and adolescents enables actions to prevent short- and long-term complications...
October 2015: MEDICC Review
Nadezhda González, Beatriz Paredes, Sonia Pérez, Mayelín Mirabal, Ivonne Rivero, Carlos A González, Alina Díaz, Dagmar García, Laura Rodríguez, Amarilis Pérez, Yamilka Soroa, Darielis Santana, Alina Alvarez, Yury Valdés, Vicente Vérez
INTRODUCTION Pneumococcal infections are a major cause of morbidity and mortality and are associated with considerable economic burden on health systems. To prevent pneumococcal infections, 7-valent conjugate vaccines have been available for over a decade; more recently, 10- and 13-valent conjugate vaccines have been formulated, which are more immunogenic than vaccines with capsular polysaccharides only. In Cuba, a new vaccine candidate has been developed, PCV7-TT, a conjugate of tetanus toxoid with antigens of seven of the serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae with highest circulation in Cuba and in the world: 1, 5, 6B, 14, 18C, 19F and 23F...
October 2015: MEDICC Review
Madeline Blanco, Liuber Y Machado, Héctor Díaz, Nancy Ruiz, Dania Romay, Eladio Silva
INTRODUCTION Serological and molecular HIV-1 studies in Cuba have shown very low prevalence of seropositivity, but an increasing genetic diversity attributable to introduction of many HIV-1 variants from different areas, exchange of such variants among HIV-positive people with several coinciding routes of infection and other epidemiologic risk factors in the seropositive population. The high HIV-1 genetic variability observed in Cuba has possible implications for transmission and clinical progression. OBJECTIVE Study genetic variability for the HIV-1 env, gag and pol structural genes in Cuba; determine the prevalence of B and non-B subtypes according to epidemiologic and behavioral variables and determine whether a relationship exists between genetic variability and transmissibility, and between genetic variability and clinical disease progression in people living with HIV/AIDS...
October 2015: MEDICC Review
Lauren Sastre, Lauren Haldeman
INTRODUCTION In 2012, North Carolina ranked in the top ten states in refugee resettlement, with central Guilford County one of the most diverse in the southeast. OBJECTIVE Examine the local resettlement environmental, nutrition and health barriers and needs of refugees in Guilford County, as perceived by individuals providing services to them. METHODS Participants (n = 40) included: medical and social service providers, educators, faith-based volunteers, resettlement agency caseworkers and liaisons to a variety of refugee communities...
October 2015: MEDICC Review
Dabney P Evans, Caitlin E Donato, Bridget A Malewezi, Anyie J Li, Mario J Corea, Andrew B Mitchell
INTRODUCTION Asylum seekers face a wide array of challenges, including the need for a fair and just adjudication process. In the state of Georgia, the Atlanta Asylum Network addresses the needs of such individuals by providing them physical, psychological and gynecological assessments, the results of which are presented to the courts in the asylum appeal process. OBJECTIVE As a component of the Network's program evaluation, assess outcomes among asylum seekers using its services, as well as relation of outcomes to type of service provided, the individual's geographic origin and English language proficiency...
October 2015: MEDICC Review
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