Treatment of Cuban Children with Leukemia Affected by the US Blockade

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HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 10 (acn) The economic blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States affects the acquisition of alternative medicines for children with acute leukemia, denounced Dr. Joseph M. Ballester, general director of the Institute of Hematology and Immunology.

From May 2011 to April 2012, the damage to the health sector is estimated at some 10 million dollars, with greater vulnerability in children, said Ballester in statements to ACN.

Due to the hostile policy of the government of the White House, restrictions for sending donation of medicaments by U.S. organizations are greater and proper care of sick patients becomes more difficult, he pointed out.

Another variant of the criminal policy includes the refusal to supply reagents for conducting research and controls in a panel of the World Health Organization, in which Cuba is excluded from this benefit, unlike other countries, said Ballester, who is also the president of the Cuban Society of Hematology and Immunology.

The scientist also referred to the long list of obstacles derived from Washington policy against the Caribbean island, insisting on preventing the attendance of physicians, nurses and health technicians to equivalent centers in the USA.

Similarly, he spoke of the difficulties faced by US scientific personalities to obtain permission to participate in international conferences held in Cuba, so such representation is currently almost nonexistent, even though there is mutual interest to exchange experiences.

With a high sense of humanism Cuban physician found it necessary to end the blockade to purchase medicines and other products in third countries.

The commercial, financial and economic blockade against the Caribbean nation is unacceptable. Also deriving from it is the denial of licenses to export equipment and reagents to companies wishing to trade with Cuba, as well as other obstacles serving only to aggravate the situation in the health sector, concluded Professor Ballester.

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