Cuba, a quarter billion polio shots
- Submitted by: admin
- Health and Medicine
- 02 / 27 / 2007
Although historic records of vaccination in Cuba date back to 1804, when Dr. Tomas Romay introduced the anti-smallpox vaccination, it was not until the triumph of the 1959 revolution that the Cuban people had full access to that medical service.
The program begun on February 26, 1962 was the pioneer of several of this type currently underway in the island and other countries, where Cuban health collaborators are now working.
Poliomyelitis was eliminated in the Caribbean island in only four months, and after that Cuba designed a national immunization program that has assured other important international successes, such as elimination of diphtheria in 1979, measles in 1993, whooping cough in 1994, and rubella and mumps in 1995.
Other successes are the eradication of dangerous diseases like neonatal tetanus in 1972, tubercular meningitis in children under one year of age in 1998 and severe congenital rubella and post-partum meningo-encephalitis, both in 1989.
Before 1959 Cuba reported 500 dead people annually from measles, tetanus, whooping cough or diphtheria; some 300 cases of paralysis due to poliomyelitis and tens of thousands from other preventable diseases.
Source: Prensa Latina