Cuban Health Minister José Angel Portal Miranda shared important information on strengthened measures to combat the Aedes Aegipty mosquito and the diseases it transmits at the meeting of the Temporary Working Group for the Prevention and Control of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Tuesday.
While not wishing to arouse enthusiasm, the red flags are already lit because at the moment “we have the transmission of dengue in six provinces, ten municipalities and 17 health areas of the country”. Central Committee of the Communist Party and President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, and the member of the Politburo and Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz.
Portal Miranda named the provinces of Sancti Spíritus, Holguín, Santiago de Cuba, Havana, Las Tunas and Camagüey as the areas where the broadcast took place and explained that other scenarios were already being evaluated to define them as areas in where this risky phenomenon occurs: “The number of suspected cases is increasing, indicating an increase in transmission in the country”.
Referring to the increase in suspected cases over the past week, the Minister of Health explained that Holguín, Camagüey, Guantánamo, Las Tunas, Cienfuegos and Havana had the highest indicators, “which are above the national average, the which is a very high risk. We need to close ranks in each of the areas with our experience in vector control, ”Portal Miranda pointed out.
Key vector surveillance and control measures include focal work in an intensive cycle that will now be done over the next 24 days in the 71 most vulnerable communities, including the inspection and treatment of 100% of elevated tanks and abandoned or closed buildings.
He also referred to the monitoring and treatment of fevers and suspected cases of dengue and spoke of increased investigations into violations and failure to comply with disease control measures by competent authorities in accordance with current legislation. He also stressed the need to increase active searches for patients with clinical manifestations of arbovirus, as well as the screening of the entire population in the vicinity of an outbreak or suspected case.
“Remember that dengue can kill,” said José Angel Portal Miranda, and actions included communicating, organizing sanitation and eliminating potential outbreaks in communities, workplaces and schools. .
Regarding the new challenge, the head of state Díaz-Canel stressed the importance of using these spaces every Tuesday to intensively exchange, analyze the behavior of the COVID-19 that “we are already eliminating” and dengue with another To watch from a different angle: to see from science how much more can be done to combat this disease.
Nothing to do for COVID-19
As for the epidemiological situation, the forecast for the next few weeks is that the control of COVID-19 will be maintained throughout the country and immunity will remain high, while the number of deaths will be close to zero. The statements were released on Tuesday, again from the Palace of the Revolution, by dr. Raul Guinovart Díaz, Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science of the University of Havana.
The expert provided this information on mathematical prediction models at the meeting of health experts and scientists chaired by President Díaz-Canel, Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz and Deputy Prime Minister Inés María Chapman Waugh.
“The threat of the epidemic is not over yet,” warns the professor, citing a poster from the World Health Organization, stating that while the number of cases has decreased internationally, there are still regions such as the Americas where the virus is is spreading cases are on the rise and President Díaz-Canel has made no secret of the fact that there are places in the world where the epidemic is on the rise again.
In another aspect of the analysis, Guinovart stressed that there have been no deaths in Cuba for more than 40 days, that critical and serious cases have practically disappeared, which “speaks very positively of the immunity that comes from vaccination and everything what is done to strengthen has been achieved ‘.
The provinces of Havana, Mayabeque, Matanzas and the Special District of the Island of Youth have seen a slight increase in cases, particularly in Havana, where “114 positive cases have accumulated in the last 15 days”.
“In all provinces, the trend towards control and decreasing cases will continue, except in Havana, where the number of confirmed cases may continue to grow slowly,” he added.
Noncommunicable Disease Notice
The second item on the agenda of the meeting of experts and scientists was the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases and their risk factors in Cuba. Dr Salvador Tamayo Muñiz, director of the NCD Unit at MINSAP, explained that since 1975 the island “has taken steps and built a tradition to address these problems”, citing as an example the arterial hypertension program established in 1975 by the Caribbean country and is considered a reference for the WHO.
The expert referred to the National Health Survey, which was conducted from 2018 to 2020 and of which the results are available. Speaking of the study, he said it was based on three national risk factor surveys and now presents important health-related issues, starting with a survey covering the Cuban population from the age of six, the 41 municipalities, 491 clinics, 7,217 families, 14,339 adults and 1,554 children.
Tamayo Muñiz said so-called risk factors should be treated as diseases, citing smoking, alcoholism and physical inactivity. “Nine of the ten most common diseases that kill Cubans are non-communicable diseases and other health disorders and anomalies.”
“COVID-19 caused the deaths of 8,529 Cubans”, he stressed, not ignoring that “the four main causes, which account for almost 63% of Cuban mortality, are cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes”.
Smoking has been identified as one of the main mortality problems in Cuba. “We have the second highest smoking rate in the Americas region, surpassed only by Chile. Tobacco use is the leading cause of death and disability in our country. , followed by hypertension, “he said.
“Obesity, hypertension and smoking are the three risk factors, or rather the three diseases, that are accelerating the premature mortality rate in our country (deaths between 30 and 70 years),” said Tamayo Muñiz.
The expert identified healthy life expectancy as the indicator that should guide the strategy that Cuba has developed until 2025 to address this situation. And the preventive approach, you stressed, must take precedence in everything.
President Díaz-Canel Bermúdez responded by saying: “We must accept the battle and we must win it”. such as communication or early diagnosis and treatment, which tend to halt the progression of a disease.
With regard to the strategy, the Head of State highlighted the need to disseminate its contents to all administrative levels of the country and to reach communities. “I think it is worth raising this issue even before Parliament: we will first represent it with our conscience”, said Díaz-Canel, underlining the importance of a responsible position of the people.
With a view to progress in the country in the fight against the main causes of death, Díaz-Canel spoke about the essential components of a system of prevention and responsibility: individuals, families, institutions; and the definition of what each of them is responsible for, emphasizing the behavioral dimension.