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One million and a half Cubans were treated during 2006, in the 454 comprehensive rehabilitation units of the polyclinics and hospitals.

Professor Jorge Enrique Martin Cordero, head of the National Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Group told the CN news agency that the reward for these achievements should go to the12,000 rehabilitation specialists. Ten thousand of these youngsters joined this health project of the Revolution, which started in 2004 with the objective being to make this service accessible for all.

Nowadays, the rehabilitation units - with high tech equipment and qualified workers- can offer 400 medical diagnoses and treat patients in 30 specialties, noted professor Cordero, also president of the Cuban Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Society.

"Each service includes physiotherapy with wards for electrotherapy, gyms, thermotherapy, hydrotherapy, nutritional courses, occupational therapy and podiatry. In addition, the natural and traditional medicine- of great impact- is used to assist 40% of the patients."

Dr. Cordero, also president of the organizing committee of the Rehabilitation 2007 International Conference, pointed out that unlike other Latin American countries where they are separate; in Cuba these new services are integrated to improve the health of the patients.

"Five people are affected for each disabled person.

For example, 80 percent of the population suffers from lumbar pain at some point in their lives, causing them to miss a significant amount of work. Today, a correct diagnosis and treatment speeds up the patients' recovery."

Longevity and Rehabilitation is the slogan of the scientific meeting attended by more than 600 delegates from 28 countries, and that combines the Fourth International Conference of the Cuban Society for Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, the Second National Workshop for Rehabilitation in Primary Health Care (APS) and the First International Meeting for Rehabilitation Information Management.

Source: ACN

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