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Cuba steps up efforts to benefit hemophilia patients

Havana, Apr 17 (Prensa Latina) Despite existing shortages and the impact of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States, Cuba's health system is today strengthening its work for the benefit of hemophilia patients.

Dr. Wilfredo Roque, director of the National Institute of Hematology and Immunology (IHI), established in December 1966, heaped praise on the efforts both the Government and the Public Health Ministry (MINSAP) do in fighting for hitting a better quality of life for these patients.

Roque cited as an example the enormous cost for acquiring first-world supplies and medicines for treating these people.

In an article published on MINSAP´s official web page, on the occasion of World Hemophilia Day, Roque stressed that there is already a new drug that has completely changed the paradigm of treating this disease, since it is possible to never have hemorrhagic events, which are the so-called patients with zero bleeding.

Although it is too pricey -about CUP$ 250,000 per bulb- Cuba guarantees it, essentially for children and especially sensitive cases, he pointed out.

IHI, with 444 workers (including 94 medical specialists and 37 nursing graduates), mainly treats hematological neoplasms such as leukemia and lymphomas, and other benign ones such as hemophilia and sickle cell disease.

Roque praised the work done by various hospitalization areas, whether for adults, children, ICU and the Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Unit (HSCTU).

Plus, he added, they have an outpatient area for graduates and other patients referred from the lower levels of the health system and recently opened a high-impact stomatology office.