“Fidel’s idea of biotechnology was aimed at improving the quality of life of our people despite the U.S. blockade…”
The Cuban leader dreamed every second of the future life of this island, with his feet grounded and his hands ready to work. That is why we must name him in daily life, as he is part of every achievement we get.
Amado Leon Gonzalez, sales manager in Heber Biotec —company that markets all products developed by the CIGB (Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology) confirmed to CubaSi that “Fidel’s idea of biotechnology was aimed at improving the quality of life of our people despite the ferocious U.S. blockade we have suffered for so many years now. And we have succeeded. All of our products are being inserted in the basic list of medications in Cuba. Our biotechnology began almost at the same biotech emerged in the world. Thus, we are pioneers in that regard as we were the first in Latin America and have prestige worldwide.”
Mexico, Belarus, and Russia are some of the country benefitted with Cuban medications from the cooperation viewpoint and the pharmaceutical trade, said Amado, who gave praise to the Heberprot-P.
“This is our leading product. It helps to reduce the amputation risk in more than 70% of patients, which is certainly positive for health systems in every country where it is used. Moreover, we have a wide variety of vaccines and we are taking big steps with regard to vaccines for animals as well as the vegetable biotechnology field.”
How has the U.S. blockade affected this legit impulse of a small, but clever people? A lot. However, we are not the only ones affected by this policy:
“We are vastly affected by the U.S. blockade as any other field in our country because it certainly limits the acquisition of equipments, raw materials, which would facilitate our work at a lower cost. Besides, it makes impossible to market the products we have; for instance, the Heberprot. This product has no match in the world in the treatment of complex diabetic food ulcerations. Unfortunately, Americans cannot enjoy this product due to the U.S. blockade. So it limits them as well.
More than 200,000 extremities are amputated every year in the U.S. as they cannot use this medication, which can reduce in 70% this number. That is to say, a significant number of lives could be saved since amputation is not only an immediate harm to the person, but also it is proven that people dies five years later as average. So they are not limiting their quality of life, but also their life itself.”
This is experienced differently in Cuba. Despite the blockade, Fidel’s dream comes true and is reflected in the fulfilled dreams of every human being of life and health:
“We are proud to boast that we are the country with least amputations due to the diabetic foot. For instance, just 465 amputations were performed in 2015. To have a broader view, the International Diabetes Federation estimated a number close to the 3,000 cases. This advance has been possible thanks to a comprehensive program for the attention to the diabetic foot in all the municipalities of the country, including the Heberprot. Despite the U.S. blockade and our economic shortage, we can save a life here in Guatanamo, Cuba; regrettably this life cannot be saved in Paris, London, or New York.”
Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz / CubaSi Translation Staff