Heberprot-P, A Cuban Biotechnology Example to the World

Havana, Apr 2 (Prensa Latina) Heberprot-P has become in the last three years the leader product of the Cuban Center of Genetic Immunology and Biotechnology (CIGB), experts of the sector told the news agency Prensa Latina today.

Doctor Carlos Mella, expert in Market Intelligence of the Marketing Company of Biotechnological and Pharmaceutical Products of the CIGB, Heber-Biotec, said the medicine made the difference at international level.

Heber-Biotec, founded in 1991, is one of the speakers at the 2nd International Conference Technology and Health, with Havana’s Conference Center as venue.

Heberprot-P is used to treat piercing ulcers on diabetic foot, an injury really hard to fight, at the extent that most patients with this injury lose their affected leg.

Mella explained that before having the mentioned medicine, the CIGB worked on other research lines. The closest treatment to skin ulcers was an cream, only for external use that is still produced today, but used for burns and related injuries.

Arts graduate Carmen Marrero, sales manager of the division of European countries at Heber-Biotec, reported to Prensa Latina that Heberprot-P had been already registered in 19 Latin American countries, North Africa and Asia.


Modificado el ( miércoles, 02 de abril de 2014 )

High Life Expectancy for Diabetic Patients in Cuba

Havana, Cuba, Apr 1.- Eighty-four percent of Cubans with diabetes mellitus have a life expectancy of nearly 78 years, similar to that of those who have not suffered the disease, the Granma newspaper reported today.

According to the Granma report, that result is due to the comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach of Cuban medicine.

Eduardo Alvarez, a second degree specialist in Endocrinology and member of the national technical commission advisor of Diabetes Mellitus at the Ministry of Public Health, told the daily that the prevention of this pandemic has gained strength, starting from local doctors offices and family clinics.

Alvarez said that achievements of the national program for care of the disease include diabetic centers where patients are educated on how to confront this disease.

For his part, Dr. Manuel Raices, of the Cuban Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center, stated that expanded use of Heberprot-P, a medicine for treating patients with diabetic foot ulcers, has shown notable results at 48 hospitals and more than 315 polyclinics.

More than 29,000 Cuban patients have benefited from the new vaccine, mainly in areas of primary health care. (Prensa Latina)

UN Chief Highlights Cuban Health Achievements

Havana, Jan 28 (Prensa Latina) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon highlighted here today the achievements made by Cuba’s health system and the assistance and solidarity offered by Cuban doctors worldwide.

“You must feel happy to be trained in the most advanced school of Medicine in the world,” he said in a meeting with students of the Havana-based Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM).

“I ask you to learn and take this opportunity to study in Cuba and work with me and with the United Nations to make this world a healthier, stronger place, with no children starving or people dying from preventable diseases such as malaria,” said Ban Ki-moon.

In his visit to ELAM, accompanied by the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Barcenas, Ban highlighted Cuban health results, including a low infant mortality rate, a higher life expectancy and a universal coverage, which he considered an example to many around the world.

He thanked Cuba and ELAM for their great contribution to South-South cooperation and solidarity worldwide.

He said he has visited many poor communities which have been victims of natural disasters and in many he has witnessed a common factor: the presence of Cuban doctors treating the population.

Ban and his entourage were received by Cuban Health Minister Roberto Morales and Rector of ELAM, Dr. Rafael Gonzalez.

The ElAm gives free training to youngsters from over 100 ethnic groups from poor families and remote areas in 123 countries.

At least 22,155 youngsters have graduated from ELAM, including 17,816 from Latin American and Caribbean countries.

Ban Ki-moon arrived to Havana yesterday. He was invited to attend the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), in session here.


Modificado el ( martes, 28 de enero de 2014 )

Cancer Immunotherapy: the Most Significant 2013 Science Breakthrough

By Vivian Collazo Montano*

Havana (Prensa Latina) Immunotherapy for cancer treatment tops the list of the most important scientific breakthroughs of 2013, according to the journal Science.

“This year there was no mistaking the immense promise of cancer immunotherapy,” said Tim Appenzeller, chief news editor of the renowned publication.

So far, this strategy of harnessing the immune system to attack tumors works only for some cancers and a few patients, so experts advise not to overstate the immediate benefits.

However, many specialists are convinced to be seeing the birth of an important new paradigm for cancer treatment, Appenzeller said.

The notable publication also selected among major breakthroughs of the year, the mini-organs development in vitro. Such is the case of a tiny brain created by the equipment of Austrian Juergen Knoblich, from induced pluripotent stem cells (IPs). In addition, in the Center for Regenerative Medicine in Barcelona was built a human mini-kidney from a few skin cells.

In the list of Science are also included the cloning technique of somatic cell nuclear transfer, the same used to clone Dolly the sheep seventeen years ago, and vaccine design, a research highlighting the importance of microbes living in the body, discoveries in solar cell technologies, genomic editing techniques, as well as image generation techniques.

In 2012, the Higgs boson (the so-called God particle) was crowned by the journal Science, as the main discovery of the year.


Meanwhile, the renowned journal Nature selected the most prominent science figures of this culminating year.

Among them, Michel Mayor, a 71 years old astronomer who discovered the most Earth-like planet found so far. Mayor determined that Kepler-78b, located about 700 light years away in the constellation Cygnus, is the most similar world to ours, from all the worlds found until today.

Also is included Shoukhrat Mitalipov, who along with his colleagues at the Oregon Health & Science University, obtained stem cells from cloned human embryos for therapeutic purposes, and Feng Zhang, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, for developing a system to edit genomes in a cheaper, easier and more accurately manner.

Tania Simoncelli prevented human genes being patented, while scientific Deborah Persaud was acknowledged after providing the clearest evidence so far that babies born with HIV can be cured.

The journal also included the Russian researcher Victor Grokhousky, for his work on the meteorite that impacted against the city of Chelyabinsk on February 15, and calculation he made about its path; the virologist Hualan Chen, for his work in China on H7N9 avian influenza in humans; the anthropologist Kathryn Clancy, for denouncing the rise of sexual assault in her field, and Henry Snaith, physicist at the University of Oxford, for his research in solar energy.

Likewise, is included the Philippine delegate to the climate summit UN, Naderev Sano, who made an appeal for climate awareness and refused to eat until positive agreements were reached in meetings.

* Head of Science Editorial Department of Prensa Latina News Agency 


Modificado el ( jueves, 16 de enero de 2014 )


Cuba No. 1 in Density of Healthcare Workforce

Washington, Nov 12 (Prensa Latina) Cuba ranks first among countries with the greatest density of healthcare providers, reporting 135 doctors per 10,000 inhabitants, followed by the United States with 125, and Canada with 96, according to a 2013 Pan-American Health Organization report.

Haiti led the nations below the minimum standard with only 4 doctors per 10,000 inhabitants, followed by Guyana (11), Guatemala (13) and Bolivia (14), the report adds.

The report, titled A Universal Truth: No Health Without a Workforce, also analyzes challenges in distribution, migration and training of health professionals.

The report says that about 70 percent of countries in the Americas have sufficient, and in some cases more than enough, medical staff to provide basic health care services for their populations.

The problem is ensuring that everyone, especially people in vulnerable communities and remote areas, have access to well-trained, culturally sensitive and competent health staff, said Carissa F. Etienne, PAHO director.

“The best strategy for achieving this is to strengthen multidisciplinary professional teams at the primary health care level,” she added.

The report highlights that the number of health workers worldwide needs to grow by more than seven million. It also suggest a better geographical distribution, since in many countries, these providers are concentrated in big cities.



Blockade on Cuba: an Embarrassment for the USA and their vassal Israel

By Pedro Paneque Ruiz / Radio Cadena Agramonte

It could not have been otherwise, good sense and good judgment prevailed during the voting of the Cuban report at the U.N. General Assembly. Once again most of the member nations supported the island country in its demand. So for 22nd time in a row, the majority (188 States out of 193 members) said YES to the draft resolution which demands the end of the U.S. blockade on Cuba.

It is certain that the Yankee Empire (the United States) and their most faithful vassal, Israel -and I say vassal because empires do not have allies as history has proved so- once again were the only member nations at the UNO that said NO in a bid to perpetuate this genocide. A policy that has brought about a tragic toll for all Cubans and in a course of over 50 years has included deaths and irreparable damages to the people’s health and the country’s economy.

But there is something more, Obama’s administration has tightened the siege impeding the Caribbean country to buy products of American origin and has expanded the extraterritorial character of this policy, becoming a sheer punishment to the islanders for we have not betrayed our principles, our political system and our humane programs. 

Recently, a young friend asked me what was really the objective of voting a Cuban report on the need to end the US blockade on the island at the UN General Assembly, because since he had full control of his own senses he had always heard of the blockade and he suffered because of it, but the U.S. successive administrations hadn’t done anything to lift it.

The voting is simple the universal condemnation of the international community of nations, because this aggressive plan against Cuba is framed as an act of genocide, according to article 2 of the Geneva Convention. Then I wonder how much the country could have done in all fields for the development of its inhabitants, if it were not for the blockade and its causes, a strategy of domination that the United States have pondered for ages.

But there is more, if there were a contest among countries that are habitual liars, the United States would be the champion. Unilaterally, Washington has included Cuba on a list of state sponsors of terrorism, without admitting that notorious terrorists walk freely in that country; that is the case of Orlando Bosh (already dead) and Luis Posada Carriles, masterminds of the bombing of a Cubana airliner off the coast of Barbados, or the case of Herminio Díaz, of whom The National Enquirer recently published that had close links to the CIA and the Mafia, and even assassinated U.S. President John F. Kennedy on November 22nd 1963. 
In spite of the harshness of the enduring economic, financial and commercial blockade, it is also true that the Cuban people are committed to move forward, aware that some day the blockade will be lifted. Sooner or later, our grandchildren or great-grandchildren will see the end of this ill-advised and archaic policy and will no longer be subjected to its consequences, even though they miss the embarrassment which is for the United States and Israel the voting of the Cuban report at the UN General Assembly.  

Former US Judge Urges Obama to Release #CubanFive #FreeTheCubanFive

Washington, Nov 4.- Former U.S. Judge Claudia Morcom today urged President Barack Obama to release four anti-terrorist fighters who have been held in the United Status for 15 years for preventing violence against Cuba.

In a letter addressed to Obama, Morcom recalled that Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez, Rene Gonzalez and Ramon Labanino were only defending their homeland against unjustified attacks, according to the International Committee to Free the Cuban Five.

Rene Gonzalez completed his prison term and is now in Cuba after giving up his US citizenship to end an additional three years of supervised release.

These Cuban heroes were arrested in September 1998 while supervising Florida-based violent anti-Cuban groups, which planned actions resulting in more than 3,400 victims in Cuba in the past 53 years.

In Morcoms opinion, Obama can put an end to the imprisonment of the Five and take a first step to unconditional rapprochement with Havana.

“It is a simple act of justice you can easily do,” she wrote.

Morcom also urged President Obama to comply with the international demand to lift the U.S. economic, financial and commercial blockade that has been imposed by Washington on Cuba for over half a century, and which has been voted down for 22 consecutive years at the UN General Assembly.

Morcom is the first African-American woman to work in a law firm and is a prominent human rights activist.(Prensa Latina)