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Organ implants

By Iris Armas Padrino


The organs implant program is being developed worldwide basically in developed countries, however, Cuba boasts about the same development because here health care services are free despite for the population.


Last year, the Caribbean Island reported 17 donors in every one million inhabitants, which places it amid the top 10 nations in this discipline in the whole world and the first in Latin America.


¨It is possible thanks to Cuban people's solidary and altruist spirit¨ said Dagoberto Fernández López, head of the National Group for Organs Implant Coordination of the Health Ministry.


Thus implantology has been applied here over the last three decades in 42 health units and equal number of hospitals from where organs and tissues donation process is directed.


On September 24, 2001 the Coordination National Group was set up, while regional working teams in the provinces of Santiago de Cuba, Holguín, Camagüey, Villa Clara and Havana had begun working since long before added Fernández López.

From 1970, at the time the island carried out the first kidney surgical implant in the late 2003, four thousand 714 organs and tissues implants and grafts were made of which 3 000 were kidney surgeries, 100 heart (the first one was made in 1985), and 80 were liver (1986).


Implants are now made at 14 capital city's hospitals, in the central and eastern regions.


Cuba leads this discipline in Latin America and is the only country in the planet that has released a normative document in this regard: the Resolution for Death Determination and Certification to diagnose and certify demises.

Surgical transplantation programs require huge financial resources but first of all human support and understanding.


In 2003, due to the fact hundreds of people consciously accepted their family's and their own organs donation, it was possible to save the lives of over one thousand patients (mainly peasants) through 222 kidney surgeries, 7 heart, 29 liver, equal figure of haematopoietic bone medulla, 326 cornea and about 400 bone tissue.

The transplant process steps include donor identification and location, donation, organ preservation and transport, when applies, extract surgical equipment coordination and organ or tissue assessment.


Regardless the relevant financial issue to be taken into consideration in both highly developed countries and Cuba, another key factor is the donation itself, where there's a waiting list made accordingly for patients in need of a compatible organ.

The Coordination Group's head pointed out the family's decision-making in order to carry out a donation irrespective of the late's either written or verbal declaration given before in this respect.


Family negative response to donations accounts for 25 % in the world but in 2003, Cuba alone reaches 14 %, he reported.


On the other hand, regarding survival to organ implant programs Cuba ranks high places compared internationally. It's known 80 to 90 % of liver transplanted patients' life expectancy is one year, while heart-operated patients' is 80%.

About 25 kidney implants of live donors are executed in a 12-month period in Cuba, but it has to be among mothers, fathers and children, he expressed.

The development of lung implants is foreseen in the near future, Fernández López remarked.


This aspect draws special attention from the Ministry of Public Health in its attempt to remedy non-transmissible illnesses that only have this therapeutical alternative.

Organs and tissues programs are sustainable health projects in countries such as Cuba, where health care services are free for everyone thanks to the achievements of the Socialist Revolution.

Source: CubaSi

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