The Cuban Health System with the goal of eliminating Viral Hepatitis B and C

Organized by the Cuban Society of Gastroenterology, on April 24, 2018, the symposium “Cuban health system with the goal of eliminating Viral Hepatitis B and C”, took place as part of the program of the III International Health Convention: CubaSalud 2018. Dr. Alba María Ropero and Dr. Leandro Soares Sereno, from the PAHO regional office, attended the conference: “Elimination of Hepatitis B and C. The public health response in the Region of the Americas”.

Cuban experts from the main health institutions of the country, the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, as well as the Head of the National Hepatitis Program of the Ministry of Public Health, presented at conferences, panels and round tables, a perspective on the situation of the possibilities of diagnosis and treatment of these diseases and the possibilities of eliminating them as a health problem.

The major results are the obtaining of a vaccine against B virus, recognized and certified by the WHO, with a vaccine coverage of 99% at birth and an immunization to the entire population under 36 years of age and at-risk groups, as well as the elimination of mother-to-child transmission. Likewise, the development by the country of both serological and molecular diagnosticians, which are used throughout the network of hospitals, polyclinics and blood banks, to allow proper diagnosis and the use of safe blood. In relation to treatment, the availability of generic drugs for the treatment of hepatitis B and interferons, which at the time were the first therapeutic line for the virus C, as well as a large group of specialists in all the provinces of the country, trained for the care of these patients. All these elements leave Cuba in a very favorable condition to achieve the WHO goal of eliminating hepatitis before the year 2030.