WORLDPOST

Cuba Is The First Country To Eliminate Mother-Baby HIV And Syphilis Transmission

06/30/2015 02:50 pm ET | Updated Jul 01, 2015

HAVANA (Reuters) - The World Health Organization on Tuesday declared Cuba the first country in the world to eliminate the transmission of HIV and syphilis from mother to child.

The WHO said in a statement that an international delegation that it and the Pan American Health Organization sent to Cuba in March determined the country met the criteria for the designation. In 2013, only two children in Cuba were born with HIV and five with syphilis, the statement said.

"Cuba's success demonstrates that universal access and universal health coverage are feasible and indeed are the key to success, even against challenges as daunting as HIV," PAHO Director Carissa Etienne said in the statement.

Cuba's Communist government considers its free healthcare a major achievement of the 1959 revolution, although ordinary Cubans complain of a decline in standards since the fall of the Soviet Union, the country's former benefactor, in 1991.

The PAHO and WHO credited Cuba with offering women early access to prenatal care, HIV and syphilis testing, and treatment for mothers who test positive. The two organizations began an effort to end congenital transmission of HIV and syphilis in Cuba and other countries in the Americas in 2010.

  • David LaFevor
    These youths are diving on the malecón (sea front drive), in front of the sixteenth century fort, El Morro, in Havana.
  • David LaFevor
    An American car with a Soviet diesel engine, Havana.
  • David LaFevor
    Cuban man in Trinidad, Cuba.
  • David LaFevor
    Neighborhood watcher in Trinidad, Cuba.
  • David LaFevor
    Woman and daughter, Havana.
  • David LaFevor
    Young girl on the church steps, Havana.
  • David LaFevor
    Man in Old Havana.
  • David LaFevor
    Woman on the malecón.
  • David LaFevor
    Basketball court in a vacant lot, Central Havana.
  • David LaFevor
    Bar interior, Old Havana.
  • David LaFevor
    Barbershop, Old Havana.
  • David LaFevor
    Early evening in Central Havana.
  • David LaFevor
    Boxing in the Rafael Trejo Gym, Old Havana.
  • David LaFevor
    Boy in the barbershop, Havana.
  • David LaFevor
    Havana youth.
  • David LaFevor
    Brick mason, Barrio Chino, Havana.
  • David LaFevor
    Enrique Hitchman, former national boxing champion.
  • David LaFevor
    Blacksmith and conversationalist, Old Havana.
  • David LaFevor
    Street scene overlooking the Capitolio.
  • David LaFevor
    Mother and son, Central Havana.
  • David LaFevor
    Boxing in the Rafael Trejo Gym.
  • David LaFevor
    Street scene, evening, Central Havana.
  • David LaFevor
    Obama supporter on the Prado, Havana.
Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS