Cuba a nation without hepatitis B

Juventud Rebelde:

Systematic immunization campaigns carried out in Cuba over the past 17 years have allowed the Caribbean nation to reduce the incidence of acute Hepatitis B in more than 99%According to Granma news daily, the prevention campaign is being implemented by the Cuban Ministry of Public Health using a highly efficient vaccine produced by the Havana-based Center of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering.

In 1992, a total of 2,194 cases of acute Hepatitis B were diagnosed. The figure decreased to 1,344 in 1997 and the number of cases dramatically dropped to 34 in 2006; 17 in 2007 and 15 in 2008, while there are no cases reported in the first quarter of the current year.

The Granma article recalls that according to criteria from the World Health Organization, form the epidemiologic point of view, when the number o cases reported are below 10, the diseased is not regarded as a health problem.

However, vaccination strategies and the strict control of blood donations remain in place in order to prevent chronic patients from transmitting the disease to people that have not been immunized.

Cuba will mark the World Day against Hepatitis on May 19 with a series of activities that include events and panels to discuss current strategies to diagnose and treat Hepatitis B and C.

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