The Minister of Public Health, José Ángel Portal, ratified Cuba's commitment to the Pan American Health Organization and its member states to guarantee universal access to health services and strengthen its system of health care.
During his intervention in the 56th Directing Council of the international organism, the Cuban minister pointed out that his country fulfilled the goal of Health for All before the year 2000, covering one hundred percent of the population, in a free and totally accessible way, according to information published in the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Despite the damage caused by the criminal, genocidal and unjust blockade imposed by the United States on our country for more than half a century, the political will to raise the health levels of the people prevails in Cuba, he said.
The minister noted, among the main results of the Caribbean nation, a life expectancy at birth of 78.45 years, an infant mortality rate of less than five per thousand live births during a decade and the eradication of 14 infectious diseases.
Portal regretted that "40 years after the Alma-Ata Declaration, many countries in the region have not yet managed to sufficiently address the social and environmental determinants of health to move towards universal health.
Correcting these inequalities, the enormous health differences that can be solved within each country and between countries, is an ethical imperative for all, if we consider that health is an essential component for sustainable human development, he said.
In this regard, the Cuban Minister reiterated the willingness of the Island to share its modest experiences in the field of organization and provision of comprehensive health services, as well as in the development of the medical, pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries with the noble purpose of achieving universal coverage and access in any region of the world.
Cuba attends the LVI Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization, which meets September 23-27 in Washington, where the headquarters of this international organization is located.